Philippines election results: Ferdinand Marcos Jr asks the world not to judge him on his family’s past

Known as “Bongbong” in the Philippines, Marcos Jr, who is the son and namesake of the late dictator, has vowed to be a “president for all Filipinos”, said Victor Rodriguez, his chief of staff and spokesperson.

With 98% of the votes counted, Marcos Jr received 31 million votes compared to his closest rival, incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, who got around 14 million, according to partial and unofficial results.

“In historic numbers, the people used their democratic vote to unite our nation,” the statement said. “This is a victory for all Filipinos and for democracy. To those who voted for Bongbong and to those who did not, it is his promise to be a president for all Filipinos. common ground across political divides and working together to unite the nation.”

Marcos Jr campaigned on a “unity” platform, promising more jobs, lower prices and more investment in agriculture and infrastructure.

Victory, if confirmed, would see the Marcos family return to power more than 30 years after being forced to flee the country in disgrace following a people power revolution that toppled the Marcos Sr regime in 1986. Marcos Sr, whose 21-year reign was marked by human rights abuses and widespread corruption, died in exile in Hawaii three years later, but his family returned to the Philippines in 1991 and became wealthy and influential politicians, successive members of the family representing their dynastic stronghold of Ilocos Norte.
Analysts say the rise of Marcos Jr is the culmination of a decades-long attempt to rebrand the Marcos family name and image, most recently through a supercharged social media campaign.

Despite linking his campaign to his father’s legacy with the slogan “rise up,” Marcos Jr asked the world to judge him on his actions, not his family’s past.

“To the world he says, don’t judge me by my ancestors, but by my actions,” Rodriguez said in the statement.

Robredo, who said she would not back down until election irregularities were verified, urged her supporters to accept the May 9 election results.

“Whatever the results, let’s accept them because it will bring out a greater strength that could unite us,” Robredo said during a thanksgiving mass at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, according to CNN Philippines.

She announced a rally for her supporters on May 13.

On Tuesday, presidential candidates Manny Pacquiao, the former boxing champion, and Isko Moreno, the mayor of Manila and a former actor, conceded.

Hundreds of demonstrators, including students and members of progressive groups, gathered in the capital Manila on Tuesday outside the Philippines Election Commission, waving banners and chanting slogans to protest Marcos and what they called electoral irregularities.

The electoral commission (Comelec) on Tuesday dismissed the allegations of electoral fraud.
Dictator's son set for presidency as Philippines heads to polls

Critics of Marcos Jr are angry at what they say is a whitewashing of Philippine history and an attempt by the Marcos family to rewrite the abuses and corruption committed during his father’s dictatorship.

Tens of thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured or killed during the martial law period from 1972 to 1981 under Marcos Sr, according to human rights groups. The Philippine President’s Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), tasked with recovering the family’s ill-gotten wealth, estimates that around $10 billion was stolen from the Filipino people. Dozens of cases are still active.

The Marcos family has repeatedly denied abuse under martial law and the use of public funds for personal use. Activists say the Marcos have never been held fully accountable and that victims of martial law are still fighting for justice.

Marcos Jr’s running mate for vice president is Sara Duterte Carpio, the daughter of incumbent populist leader Rodrigo Duterte. Although many of his policies are unclear, Marcos Jr is expected to continue Duterte’s policies on infrastructure and his controversial “war on drugs.”

Partial, unofficial results show Duterte Carpio will win the vice presidency, elected in a separate race from the presidency, in a landslide.


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