MANILA: The son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos cemented a landslide presidential election victory Tuesday, after Filipinos bet a familiar but tainted dynasty could ease rampant poverty — while dismissing warnings the clan’s return will deepen corruption and weaken democracy.
With an initial count almost complete, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr had secured over 56 percent of the vote and more than double the tally of his nearest rival, liberal Leni Robredo.
His now unassailable lead of 16 million-plus votes spells another astonishing reversal in the fortunes of the Marcos family, who have gone from the presidential palace to pariahs and back again in the space of a few decades.
The Marcos victory is a hammer blow to millions of Filipinos who hoped to reverse course after six years of increasingly authoritarian rule by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Far from repudiating Duterte’s excesses, voters elected his daughter Sara as vice president by a landslide in a parallel vote.
In 1986, Marcos Sr and kleptocratic first lady Imelda Marcos were chased into exile by the “People Power” revolution.
Marcos Jr steadfastly refused to denounce his family’s brutal and corrupt excesses in a campaign marked by a systemic whitewashing of history.
With memories of the regime fading with time and muddied by countless misleading Facebook posts, voters turned to Marcos to rekindle past glories.