‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Son Of Notorious Dictator, Wins By Landslide In Philippine Presidential Vote
Among the most contentious elections in decades in the Philippines has just ended with the son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marco, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – known as “Bongbong” – winning a landslide victory.
As of Tuesday afternoon (local time) it’s looking like an absolute blowout, with 64-year-old senator Marcos Jr. gaining more than 97% of the votes, with closest contender current Vice President Leni Robredo not even close, and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in a far distant third.
A separate vice presidential race will see daughter of outgoing strongman ruler Rodrigo Duterte, Sara Duterte – who is mayor of southern Davao city, cinch victory and form the new administration with Bongbong.
Many outside observers are dubbing the landslide win a hugely symbolic crushing reversal of the 1986 “People Power” pro-democracy revolt that ousted original strongman Ferdinand Marco.
Opposition activists are quickly crying foul with the landslide results. The group called Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law, or CARMMA, decried: “A possible win based on a campaign built on blatant lies, historical distortions and mass deception is tantamount to cheating your way to victory.” It’s statement said, “This is not acceptable.”
However, the BBC observes that “Turnout on voting day was high and previous elections in the country have largely been ruled to be fair. Isolated incidents of violence – including the shooting of three people near a polling station – were not reflected widely across the country, officials said.” Opinion polls leading up to the election consistently predicted a blowout on election day in favor of Marco.
Mainstream pundits in the West, including in The Washington Post, are saying the election captures the Philippine public’s “nostalgia for strongmen” over desire for democracy. And the BBC highlights that Marcos Jr. campaigned on the idea of a ‘crime-free’ “golden age” for the country:
Critics say this was the result of Mr Marcos Jr consistently painting his father’s rule as a “golden age” for the Philippines, whitewashing a period of rampant corruption and widespread poverty.
His father, Ferdinand Marcos, who became president in 1965, imposed martial law in 1972 and presided over a brutal regime which saw thousands of dissenters and critics jailed and killed.
Mr Marcos Sr, who died in 1989, and his wife Imelda stole an estimated $10bn (£8.1bn) from the Philippines’ coffers, becoming infamous examples of public graft.
Running mate Sara Duterte is being viewed as a big boost toward this narrative given the ticket represents the combined power of two hardline and “stable” political strongholds and their supporters.
According to the AP, “The next president will also likely face demands to prosecute outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte for thousands of killings during his anti-drug crackdown — deaths already under investigation by the International Criminal Court.” However, given a Duterte is moving into the vice presidency, this is obviously highly unlikely.
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Upon Tuesday’s election news, the benchmark Philippine stock index dropped amid a global selloff, quickly erasing as much as $9.3 billion from the Philippine market. Writes Bloomberg: “The Philippine Stock Exchange Index ended 0.6% down at 6,720.93, its lowest close in nine months. It fell as much as 3.1% earlier.”
Tue, 05/10/2022 – 17:45