TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

Ferdinand Marcos Jr set to triumph in Philippines presidential election

Ferdinand Marcos Jr set to triumph in Philippines presidential election

Son of late dictator has enough votes in unofficial tally, signalling remarkable rehabilitation of Marcos family

Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the late dictator, has won a landslide presidential election victory, signalling an extraordinary rehabilitation for one of the country’s most notorious political families.

With more than 90% of an initial count concluded, Marcos Jr had almost 30 million votes, more than double the tally of his closest rival, the current vice-president, Leni Robredo, a former human rights lawyer.

Supporters dressed in red shirts, his campaign colour, gathered outside his camp’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City on Monday night, waving the flag of the Philippines as passing cars sounded their horns.

Marcos thanked volunteers and political leaders “that have cast their lot with us” in a late-night video message, but he stopped short of claiming victory. “Let’s wait until it’s very clear, until the count reaches 100%, then we can celebrate,” he said.

Marcos Jr, 64, ran with the slogan “Together we shall rise again”, invoking nostalgia for his father’s authoritarian regime, which the family and its supporters have portrayed as a golden era in a campaign fuelled by online disinformation as social media has been flooded with false stories that have swept aside the atrocities and corruption widespread during the period.

Such portrayals have horrified survivors of Marcos Sr’s brutal regime. Thousands of political opponents were tortured, arrested and disappeared under his rule, while as much as $10bn (£8bn) was plundered.

Marcos Sr was ousted in the People Power revolution in 1986, when the family was humiliatingly airlifted from the presidential palace by helicopter, and fled into exile.

Ever since, say analysts, the Marcoses have sought to rebrand themselves and regain their place in politics. “The disinformation infrastructure has been there for a long time. It’s not as if it just sprouted during this campaign. The Marcoses’ plan to reach the presidency has been in action for decades,” said Aries Arugay, a visiting fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, who is based in Manila.

Marcos Jr had maintained a clear lead over his opponents in surveys conducted in the run-up to the vote, with Robredo second. A former human rights lawyer who has advocated for marginalised groups, she campaigned on a promise of good governance and an end to corruption.

People began lining up to vote before polling centres opened at 6am local time (2300 BST) on Monday morning, and some waited more than four hours in the heat as malfunctioning voting machines caused delays. The vote followed three months of fierce campaigning, in which 2 million Robredo volunteers launched an unprecedented door-to-door campaign to try to win over voters and counter the onslaught of online disinformation.

Although Marcos Jr has denied the existence of any organised online campaign, he was the overwhelming beneficiary of false claims circulating on social media. The majority of disinformation was either designed to undermine Robredo’s reputation or enhance the images of the Marcoses, according to analysis by the fact-checking coalition Tsek.ph, which monitored disinformation in the run-up to the election.

Marcos Jr has avoided TV debates and challenging media interviews ahead of the election, and his campaign has been thin on policy detail.

Leni Robredo queues as she waits to vote in Magarao, Camarines Sur.


Marcos Jr’s candidacy has polarised opinion, and some do not believe that the family has plundered state wealth, despite court rulings at home and abroad.

At Santa Ana elementary school, in a residential area of Manila, which opened as a polling station, Raquel Deguzaman, 59, said she supported Marcos Jr and did not believe the family was corrupt. “[Marcos Sr] was able to help the Philippines. He’s really good,” she said, adding that he had built infrastructure, including hospitals.

Jack Drescher, 58, who was on his way to vote, also cited the building of infrastructure under Marcos Sr as a reason for backing his son. He was not concerned about corruption within the family, he said. “He has a lot of gold so he won’t steal any money,” he said, adding that he had heard this from YouTube.

A myth claiming that the Marcoses own large stashes of gold has circulated online in various forms for years, including the claim that it will be given back to the people if the family is returned to power.

The idea that Marcos Sr’s rule was a prosperous and peaceful era appeals to a generation of voters who did not live through Marcos Sr’s martial law regime, including those who “may harbour deep dissatisfaction with the non-inclusive development of the past 30 or so years,” said Ronald Mendoza, dean of Manila’s Ateneo school of government.

Cleo Anne A Calimbahin, an associate professor of political science at De La Salle University Manila, said the results should not come as a surprise but that they were sobering. They reflected in part a growing frustration among the public with previous administrations.

“I think this is a response of a public that saw the lack of progress made since 1986,” said Calimbahin, referencing the People Power revolution that put the Philippines on the road to democracy, a process that has not been linear.

“Unfortunately, the reforms agenda and its inability to deliver since 1986 has made people even wary of reformist candidates,” said Calimbahin.

The election winner will take office on 30 June for a single six-year term.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×