In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of a former dictator, is about to be elected President of the Republic

This is the final touch to a work that began several decades ago in an effort to restore the family’s image. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been elected, Tuesday, May 10, as the new President of the Philippines. According to the results, which covered more than 90% of the constituencies, the son of the late dictator of the same name received almost 30 million votes, about twice as much as his main rival, current Vice President Leni Robredo, which is impossible. . It was sufficient during this poll in one round to be among the ten candidates who received the largest number of votes to win.

Supporters of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. celebrate the election results at his headquarters in Mandaluyong on May 9, 2022.

This victory for the one nicknamed “Bong-bong” completes the stunning return to the blessing of his clan, which in less than a generation has passed from complete political disgrace to supreme power.

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In a dawn speech Tuesday from his campaign headquarters in Manila, “Pong Bong”, 64, refrained from declaring his victory, only thanking his supporters for their months. “Sacrifices and Labor”. “Let’s wait until it becomes very clear, until the count reaches 100% of the votes, and then we can celebrate”, He said. In the capital, without waiting, his cheering supporters set off fireworks and roamed the streets waving Filipino flags.

Torrents of misinformation

About 67 million Filipinos were called to the polls for this general election, during which the vice president as well as representatives, half of the senators, provincial governors and thousands of other local elected officials were to be appointed.

Marcos Jr’s victory comes after an election campaign marked by a deluge of disinformation and unwavering support for incumbent autocrat Rodrigo Duterte, whose popularity remains very high.

Voters wait to cast their ballots in Manila on May 9, 2022.

For years, accounts loyal to Marcos Jr. invaded social networks, ushering in the twenty years of his father’s regime (1965-1986) for young Filipinos as a golden age of peace and prosperity for the Philippines. He ignored the tens of thousands of dissidents who had been arrested, tortured, or killed, or even the billions of dollars the Marcos clan had stolen from the country’s coffers.

The regime was overthrown in 1986 by a massive popular revolution, and the Marcos family went into exile in the United States. Ferdinand Marcos Jr – who was ascending to the UK when his father declared martial law in 1972 – today defends Marcos Senior’s regime, which has praised Marcos Senior “political genius”building on strong early economic growth and public spending under martial law, obscuring the corruption and mismanagement that subsequently impoverished the nation.

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Returning to the country a few years after the ousted dictator died in Hawaii in 1989, the Marcos clan dedicated itself to gradually rebuilding a powerful network of political support, by exploiting local loyalties to elect into a series of top positions. Thus Marcus Jr. was Deputy Governor of Ilocos Norte County, the stronghold of the family, and was also elected to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Behind the scenes talks

Mr. Marcos’ ties to his father, who carried out a bloody repression during the years of martial law, make him one of the country’s most divisive politicians. “Bongbong” promised to take back “lonliness” during his six-year tenure. He ran a somewhat lackluster election campaign, struggling to motivate his supporters and attract fewer crowds than his rival, Leni Robredo. But it has benefited from Filipinos’ widespread discontent with successive democratic governments since the end of the dictatorship, which they say have not been able to improve their standard of living.

He also owes his victory above all to a series of behind-the-scenes negotiations with other political clans, notably to his alliance with Sarah Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing president. The latter also had a significant advance in the election of the vice president, which took place simultaneously.

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Voted by Lenny Robredo, the 57-year-old lawyer and economist who campaigned to rid the country of corruption and stifle political dynasties. ‘Obviously disappointed’ face the result “We didn’t lose anything, we didn’t fall”She said in a televised address, promising to continue the fight against Marcos once the full results are officially ratified, in a few weeks. “We just started”I promised.

Lenny Robredo, presidential candidate and former vice president, votes in Camarines Sur Province (Philippines), May 9, 2022.

violent day

Other candidates for president include legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao and former garbage collector-turned-actor Francisco Domagoso.

Monday was marked by violence, as is often the case during elections in the Philippines. At least four people were killed across the country in attacks on polling stations. On Sunday evening, a grenade exploded in front of another, injuring nine.

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Marcus Jr. began his day by voting at a school named after his grandfather in Batak, the family’s northern stronghold. His mother, 92-year-old Imelda Marcos, came to put her ballot in the ballot box shortly afterwards, with the help of her daughter Irene and grandson Sandro, Marcos Jr.’s youngest son.

It has always been my opinion that breeds are not inherently bad, although some may be.said Sandro, 28, who was running for a seat in Congress. But at the same time, I think there were a lot of dynasties that also served their constituents well. »

The world with AFP

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