Ferdinand Marcos Junior (64) didn’t have to shake for a long time. The politician, also known as “Bongbong”, clearly wins the election for the new president of the Philippines. After counting over 97 percent. votes, he received more than twice as many votes as his closest competitor, opposition leader Leni Robredo.
This marks the return of the Marcos family to the presidential palace in the Philippines after 36 years. Until 1986, the country was ruled by the father of the now elected president. Ferdinand Marcos Senior (1917-1989) with an iron hand and without real free elections ensured dictatorial conditions in the island state.
In 1986 there was a coup d’état
While many of his countrymen had to fight daily to survive, the Marcos family lived in luxury. The collection of shoes by Ferdinand Marcos’ wife, Imelda (92), became famous. Almost 3,000 pairs, neatly arranged in a gigantic room, have become a symbol of the detached family of dictators. Hundreds of millions of dollars have ended up in hidden bank accounts overseas. In Switzerland alone, the dictator deposited 700 million. It wasn’t until 2002 that the money was returned to the Philippines National Bank.
In 1986, people were fed up with dictatorship. After weeks of protests, Ferdinand Marcos Senior had to leave the country with his family. The family was transported by helicopter from the capital, Manila. After 20 years of brutal regime, people stormed the palace, a new era has come.
Focused primarily on young voters
Former dictator Marcos Senior died in exile in 1989. In the early 1990s, the rest of the family was allowed to return to the Philippines. Marcos Junior seized the opportunity to embark on a political career before being nominated this year as a potential successor to incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte (77). Duterte could not run for a second term after six years.
During the election campaign, Marcos Junior relied primarily on young voters who do not remember the brutal regime of the 1970s and 1980s. Bongbong reached millions of people via YouTube and TikTok. The campaign was managed by a PR agency.
Marcos Junior refrained from attacking his competitors. Instead, he hired influencers and troll factories to portray other candidates in the worst possible light, says NZZ sociologist Jonathan Ong of the University of Massachusetts. On his own channels, Marcos presented himself as a family man, close to people who wanted people to be united.
fear of a new dictatorship
After the announcement of the first election results, protests broke out, especially in the south of the island. Angry demonstrators accused the authorities of electoral fraud. In addition, thousands of people have complained that they cannot vote due to a malfunction of the calculating machines. The police intervened and brutally dispersed the protests, at least six people were killed.
Moreover, according to calculations, Sara Duterte-Carpio will become vice-president. She is the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, who is under the international pillory for his hard fight against drug crime. Under his leadership, it is said that thousands of people have been murdered by death squads in the past six years.
“Bongbong” and Duterte-Carpio acted as a duo, their influential families considered closely related. “They both represent the worst kind of traditional politics and management in our country’s history,” Karapatan human rights group said in a statement. “That is why we call on the Filipinos to firmly reject the infamous tandem and oppose any further oppression and civil rights violations.”
The final result of the elections will be announced by the national congress in late May. Nothing will change in the radiant winner of the election. As the country develops under Marcos Junior, it is open. Experts fear that the Philippines could be governed in an even more authoritarian manner than under Father Marcos Sr. Fear of a new dictatorship in the Philippines is growing. (zis)