Mon. May 16th, 2022
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wins the Philippine election, succeeding Duterte

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MANILA — Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator whose household plundered billions of {dollars}, was elected president of the Philippines by a landslide, solely 36 years after his father was ousted in a historic revolution.

For critics, it marks an extra backslide for a nation — as soon as admired as one of many few democracies within the area — that continues to trudge down the trail of populism. Marcos succeeds the tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte, greatest identified for his crude insults and a battle on medicine that has left hundreds useless.

His daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, is Marcos’s operating mate, and the subsequent vp. The tandem, which has dubbed itself the “Uniteam” for its supposed message of unity, is a political marriage of the nation’s two strongest dynasties.

Early on Tuesday in a speech, Marcos thanked his supporters for his or her “perception in our message of unity and their perception within the candidates.”

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the 64-year-old son of former Philippines dictator, received the nation’s presidential election in a landslide on Could 9. (Video: Reuters)

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The temper was jubilant because the magnitude of their victory grew to become clear and Marcos’s supporters sang and celebrated in entrance of the marketing campaign headquarters alongside the identical historic Manila avenue the place folks protested to oust his father greater than three many years in the past.

In the meantime, tons of of disheartened supporters of his fundamental opponent, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, flocked to a volunteer heart to console each other and tune into her live-streamed speech.

“We’ve began one thing that has by no means earlier than been seen in our nation’s historical past: a marketing campaign led by the folks,” Robredo stated on Tuesday morning. “This construction of lies took a very long time to construct. There’ll come a time and probability to tear it down.”

Her supporters have prompt that her grass-roots marketing campaign, which introduced collectively numerous swaths of pink-wearing volunteers throughout sectors, ought to keep its momentum and put together to tackle a task because the opposition beneath the brand new administration.

Dictator’s son Marcos takes overwhelming lead in Philippines election

“One of many classes we’ve to be taught from the opposite camp is, once they misplaced [in the 2016 vice-presidential race], they began to marketing campaign instantly,” stated Mik Afable, a volunteer who organized flash mobs and helped take cost of operations on Monday.

He expressed hope that their motion could be an enduring one, in comparison with the well-financed Marcos juggernaut. “In the event you pay for loyalty, it goes away in a short time,” he stated.

Marcos’s fastidiously deliberate journey to the presidency reveals how social media can form notion and politics in a extremely on-line nation, which has been dubbed the “affected person zero” of disinformation after Duterte first received with the assistance of troll farms in 2016.

As president, Marcos will rule over an archipelago of about 110 million ravaged by the local weather disaster and the coronavirus pandemic, the place round a fifth of the inhabitants is beneath the poverty line. He’s additionally anticipated to proceed the drug battle and defend the outgoing Duterte from doable prosecution on the Worldwide Felony Court docket.

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“This election is so consequential as a result of whoever wins will resolve who lives and who dies within the Philippines,” stated Nicole Curato, a sociologist and professor on the College of Canberra.

However the remainder of Marcos’s platforms and insurance policies are largely unclear as a result of he has skipped election debates and interviews with the impartial press, as an alternative surrounding himself with social media personalities and vloggers who take pleasure in preferential therapy from his marketing campaign.

“We don’t know sufficient by way of how they’ll govern,” Curato stated. “They management the way in which they disseminate info.”

Marcos’s governing expertise is concentrated within the province from which the household hails. He was governor of Ilocos Norte within the Nineteen Eighties (changing his aunt), earlier than he left with the rebellion that overthrew his father. After his return, he served as a consultant for the province after which governor earlier than he was elected to the Senate in 2010 — the place he was later concerned in a corruption scandal.

Because the numbers steadily trickled in for Marcos, hundreds throughout numerous precincts have been nonetheless ready to solid their votes effectively previous midnight. Technical issues that plagued vote-counting machines fed into fears that ballots might be tampered with, and on Tuesday morning, demonstrators flocked to the Fee on Elections in Manila to protest what they noticed as an election riddled with irregularities.

The human rights group Karapatan additionally referred to as on the general public to reject the Marcos-Duterte tandem, saying that Marcos “[spits] on the graves and sufferings” of hundreds of martial regulation victims. “Worse, he has portrayed the victims of human rights violations as money-seeking opportunists,” stated the group’s secretary common, Cristina Palabay.

In accordance with the unofficial rely with 97.55 % of precincts reporting, Marcos received 58 % of the ballots solid, greater than 30 million votes, in contrast with Duterte’s victory with simply 16 million in 2016.

Robredo, a lawyer and social activist, got here in second with 14.7 million votes — lower than half of Marcos’s complete. The race was a rematch for the 2, who had confronted off within the 2016 vice presidential race, which Robredo received, regardless of Marcos’s makes an attempt to overturn the outcome.

Within the Philippines, political dynasties dominate — with the Marcos household being among the many most well-known. Ferdinand Marcos, his spouse, Imelda, daughter Imee and son have all held political posts in or representing the northern province of Ilocos Norte. Imelda, 92, who beforehand launched two unsuccessful presidential bids, arrived to a polling station Monday in a pink outfit, rosary and Chanel pin.

“She’s needed me to change into president since I used to be 3 years previous,” Marcos said of his mom in 2015.

In addition they face numerous controversies: unpaid property taxes reported to have ballooned to over $3 billion, a graft conviction for Imelda, a virtually $2 billion class motion award and contempt order handed down by a U.S. District Court docket compensating hundreds of victims of rights violations beneath the Marcos administration, amongst others.

Marcos additionally has controversies of his personal, from a questionable tax document to his contested claims to have accomplished his research at Oxford University.

The excesses of the Marcos household have been in full view throughout their rule many years in the past, with frequent jet-setting, spending sprees and, famously, Imelda’s thousands of pairs of sneakers — containers of which have since fallen victim to mold and termite infestations.

Beneath martial regulation on the time, experiences of human rights abuses have been rampant, together with arbitrary arrests, forcible disappearances, torture and killings. However with a Marcos win, the household is ready to be shielded from accountability.

There are ongoing makes an attempt to recoup as a lot as $10 billion plundered by the household’s late patriarch. As president, in command of the chief department and with affect over authorities companies, Marcos can have outsize energy in controlling that hunt.

Marcos’s landslide win factors to the success of his social media marketing campaign but in addition the “serial disappointment” Filipinos have within the political institution and democratic rule over the previous three many years, stated Marco Garrido, a sociologist on the College of Chicago.

“The religion that they had in liberal democracy has dried up … they usually’ve developed this style for intolerant rule over the course of the Duterte administration,” he stated. “This nostalgia for the Marcos interval wouldn’t make sense except you place it within the context of 36 years of disappointment.”

Westfall reported from Washington.

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