The Marcos family that was overthrown by the uprising wins an overwhelming majority in the Philippines

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MANILA – Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator whose family plundered billions of dollars, has been elected president of the Philippines, according to preliminary results, just 36 years after his father was ousted in a historic revolution.

For critics, it represents a further retreat for a nation – once admired as one of the region’s few democracies – that continues down the path of populism. Marcos succeeds hard-line President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his blunt insults and his war on drugs that has left thousands dead.

His daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, is Marcos’ running mate, and next vice president. The tandem, which called itself “unity” for its supposed message of unity, is a political marriage between the two most powerful dynasties in the country.

Early on Tuesday in a speech by Marcos Thanks his fans For their “belief in the message of unity” and their “belief in the candidates.”

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 64, won the country’s presidential election by a landslide on May 9 (Video: Reuters)

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The mood was jubilant as the scale of their victory became apparent and Marcos supporters sang and celebrated in front of the campaign headquarters along the same historic Manila Boulevard where people had protested the overthrow of his father for more than three decades.

Meanwhile, hundreds of frustrated supporters of his main opponent, Maria Leonor “Lenny” Robredo, flock to the Volunteer Center to console each other and listen to her live speech.

“We’re starting something we’ve never seen before in our nation’s history: a people-led campaign,” Robredo said Tuesday morning. “It took a long time to build this structure of lies. The time and opportunity will come to tear them down.”

Suggested by her fans popular campaignwhich has brought together diverse segments of pink-clad volunteers in various sectors, must maintain its momentum and prepare to take on the role of the opposition under the new administration.

Marcos, the dictator’s son, wins overwhelming majority in Philippine elections

“One of the lessons we should learn from the other camp is when they lose [in the 2016 vice-presidential race]“They started the campaign right away,” said Mik Afable, a volunteer who organized quick crowds and helped take charge of operations on Monday.

He hoped that their movement would be a permanent one, compared to the well-financed Marcos Tyrant movement. “If you pay for loyalty,” he said, “it will go away very quickly.”

Marcos’ carefully planned trip to the presidency shows how social media can shape perception and politics in a highly internet-connected country that has been dubbed “patient zero” of misinformation after Duterte won for the first time with help. Troll Farms in 2016.

As President, Marcus He will rule over an archipelago of about 110 million people devastated by the climate crisis and Corona Virus epidemic, in which about a fifth of the population lives below the poverty line. He is also expected to continue the drug war and protect outgoing Duterte from possible prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

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“This election is of great importance because who wins will decide who lives and who dies in the Philippines,” said Nicole Curato, sociologist and professor at the University of Canberra.

But the rest of Marcus’ programming and policies are largely unclear as he has skipped election debates and interviews with the independent press, instead surrounding himself with social media personalities and vloggers who enjoy preferential treatment from his campaign.

“We don’t know enough in terms of how they will govern,” Curato said. “They control the way they disseminate information.”

Marcos’ expertise in governing is concentrated in the province from which the family hails. He was governor of Ilocos Norte in the 1980s (to replace his aunt), before leaving with the uprising that overthrew his father. Upon his return, he served as county representative and then governor again before being elected to the Senate in 2010 – where he later participated in the corruption scandal.

Marcos is also expected to continue Duterte’s friendly attitude toward China, and he has previously said he will Don’t ask for help From the United States over the island dispute in the South China Sea, which China has heavily militarized. However, popular anger is mounting against China for its pressure on Filipino fishermen, and there are longstanding ties with the United States, including among their militaries.

While the numbers were pouring steadily for Marcos, thousands in various precincts were still waiting to cast their ballots after midnight. Technical problems plaguing vote-counting machines led to concerns that ballots could be tampered with, and on Tuesday morning, protesters flocked to the Election Commission in Manila to protest what they saw as an election strewn with irregularities.

The human rights organization Karapatan also called on the public to reject Marcos Duterte’s tandem, saying Marcos “[spits] Worse, he portrayed victims of human rights abuses as opportunists seeking money,” said the group’s general secretary, Cristina Balaby.

According to an unofficial count with 98 percent of the precincts, Marcos won 58 percent of the votes cast, more than 31 million, compared to Duterte’s victory of just 16 million in 2016.

Robredo, a lawyer and social activist, came in second with 14.7 million votes – less than half of Marcos’ total. The race was a rematch for the two, who faced off in the 2016 VP race, which Robredo won, despite Marcos’ attempts to turn the score around.

In the Philippines, political dynasties dominate – and the Marcos family is among the most famous. Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda, daughter Emmy, and his son each held political office in or represented the province of Ilocos Norte. Imelda, 92, who has previously made two failed presidential bids, arrived at a polling station on Monday wearing a red dress, rosary and a Chanel pin.

“She has wanted me to be president since I was three,” Marcus She said From his mother in 2015.

They also face various controversies: unpaid property taxes have ballooned to more than $3 billion, a Conviction of graft For Imelda, a nearly $2 billion class action award and contempt order issued by a US district court to compensate thousands of victims of rights abuses under the Marcos administration, among others.

Marcus also has controversies of his own, from a questionable tax record to his disputed claims that he completed his studies in Oxford university.

The excesses of the Marcos family were fully visible during their rule decades ago, with frequent spending on planes cheerful It is known, Imelda Thousands of couples The number of shoes – that the boxes have fallen from since then Victim of the spread of mold and termites.

Under martial law at that time, there were reports of human rights violations rampantincluding arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, and killings. But with Marcos’ victory, the family is protected from accountability.

Attempts are underway to recover up to $10 billion looted by the late patriarch of the family. As president, in control of the executive branch and influence over government agencies, Marcos will have tremendous power in controlling this hunt.

Marco Garrido, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, said Marcos’ landslide victory indicated the success of his campaign on social media, but also the “cascading disappointment” of Filipinos in the political establishment and democratic governance over the past three decades.

He said, “Their faith in liberal democracy has dried up…and they have developed this taste for illiberal governance over the course of the Duterte administration.” “This nostalgia for the Marcos period would be meaningless unless you put it in the context of 36 years of disappointment.”

Westfall reported from Washington.