Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., the son of a Philippine dictator, won in a landslide
Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. will be the Philippines’ new president after a landslide victory over former Vice President Leni Robredo. Marcos was congratulated by both the US and China, and has asked critics of his father – a former dictator – not to judge him by his name.
Although the official results have not yet been announced, Marcos appears to have won the weekend’s elections comfortably, securing more than 30 million votes – over twice the number of his closest rival, outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo. Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, will serve as vice president, having easily dispatched her nearest rival, Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, with a tally of over 30 million votes to 8.9 million.
Joe Biden, the US president called Marcos to congratulate his win. A White House statement stated that Biden had promised to increase bilateral cooperation with the Philippines. “the fight against Covid-19, addressing the climate crisis, promoting broad-based economic growth, and respect for human rights.”
Marcos was also sent a note of appreciation by Xi Jinping the Chinese president, who promised to continue his efforts. “establish a good working relationship with President-elect Marcos [and] adhere to good neighbourliness and friendship.”
Managing the Philippines’ relations with Washington and Beijing will likely prove a delicate balancing act for the incoming president. The Philippines is located on the border of South China Sea, where it has been disputed for decades. It also faces a significant geopolitical faultline. While an international tribunal in 2016 ruled in favor of the Philippines’ claim, Marcos stated during his campaign that he would seek a new “agreement”With his “friends”The Chinese government.
Back at home, Marcos’ victory was met with trepidation by some. While his campaign was a popular one, Amnesty International’s regional division described his win as an “ominous moment for human rights,”While Filipino activists condemned his refusal to “address the basic questions concerning his father’s dictatorship, of which he was very much a part.”
Marcos’ father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., ruled the Philippines from 1965 until 1986, when the family was chased from the country amid an uprising. Marcos Sr. established martial law in order to combat Islamic extremism. Human Rights groups allege that Marcos Sr. tortured and killed his political enemies during the crackdown.
Marcos Sr. is also being accused of major corruption. To this day, a commission established to trace the money siphoned from the Marcos family’s wealth has only recovered half the $10 billion they are believed to have kept.
‘Bongbong’, who was a governor during the final years of his father’s rule, has been accused of waging a PR campaign to “whitewash” his father’s rule and present the Marcos years as two decades of prosperity and improved living standards for Filipinos. Critics have also condemned him for not denouncing his father’s alleged crimes.
He did ask the rest of the world Wednesday, however. “judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions,”More jobs and higher wages are promised, as well as investment in agriculture and infrastructure.
It is widely believed that Macros will continue many of Duterte’s policies with regard to the outgoing leader’s ‘war on drugs’. Duterte is being investigated by the International Criminal Court over the deaths of thousands during the crackdown. Marcos stated that he will allow investigators to enter the country. “but only as tourists.”