Philippines: Landslide Win For Bongbong Marcos Jr In Presidential Poll, Stunning Comeback For A Discredited Dynasty Once Ousted In Popular Revolt

by Swarajya Staff - May 10, 2022 12:51 PM +05:30 IST
Philippines: Landslide Win For Bongbong Marcos Jr In Presidential Poll, Stunning Comeback For A Discredited Dynasty Once Ousted In Popular RevoltFerdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr and Sara Duterte
Snapshot
  • Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr, the son of the Philippines's discredited dictator late Ferdinand Marcos who was deposed from power in a popular uprising in the '80s, is set to win a sweeping landslide verdict in the country's presidential election.

    Marcos Jr's running mate, Sara Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte and currently mayor of southern Davao city, has taken a formidable lead in the vice presidential race

    The victory of Marcos Jnr represents a stunning comeback for a political dynasty that was largely viewed as the epitome of kleptocracy and was eventually ousted by the "People Power" revolution in 1987.

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr, the son of the Philippines's discredited dictator late Ferdinand Marcos, who was deposed from power in a popular uprising in the '80s, is set to win a sweeping landslide verdict in the country's presidential election held on Monday (May 9).

Marcos is on course to secure around 60% of the votes polled in the race even as the final announcement of the result is still pending. According to unofficial estimates, Marcos Jnr has so far secured 30.51 million votes, double that of Leni Robredo, the incumbent vice-president who is his principal rival in the race. Over 95.8 per cent of the eligible ballots have been counted as of this morning.

In 2016, Marcos Jnr ran for vice-president but lost narrowly to Robredo.

The victory of Marcos Jnr represents a stunning comeback for a political dynasty that was largely viewed as the epitome of kleptocracy and was eventually ousted by the "People Power" revolution in 1987. The president and his wife Imelda Marcos, gained global infamy for living a lavish lifestyle during a period of deep economic crisis and civil unrest in the country. The Marcoses family and their cronies were accused of amassing an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion while in power.

The Marcoses fled the country and lived in exile in Hawaii until the early 1990s. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii.

In 1991, then President Corazon Aquino allowed the Marcos family to return to the Philippines to face various charges. The late president's wife, Imelda Marcos, was elected four times to the House of Representatives of the Philippines and even made two unsuccessful presidential bids.

To this day, the brutality and corruption of the Marcos regime continue to be a deeply polarising issue in the Philippines.

Sara Duterte Leads In Vice-Presidential Race

Marcos Jr's running mate, Sara Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte and currently mayor of southern Davao city, has taken a formidable lead in the vice presidential race, which is separate from the presidential race. Duterte leads over eight rivals, including Robredo's running mate Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan

Campaign by Marcos-Duterte Duo

During the campaign trail, Marcos Jr. successfully managed to shift the focus away from his family's corrupt legacy, including ongoing efforts by the government to recover billions of dollars of ill-gotten wealth allegedly amassed by his family. Though Marcos Jr offered no specific policy prescriptions or laid out a detailed economic plan, he steadfastly stuck instead to a campaign theme emphasising national unity.

A well-orchestrated social media campaign that retrospectively recast the Marcos era as one of peace and prosperity while blanking out the corruption and egregious human rights violation managed to evoke nostalgia among a section of old voters and attract young voters who were not born yet during the dictatorship.

Marcos-Duerte ticket also represented the coming together of two powerful political dynasties drawing electoral support from different geographic regions of the country.

The duo also gained from the popularity of incumbent president Duterte. Marcos Jr. also presented himself as a candidate who will continue Duterte's key policies and programmes.

Despite an ongoing territorial/maritime dispute with China and being an American treaty all, Duterte was seen as favouring a strategic alignment with China. Marcos's own family also has a long association with China.

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