Ferdinand Marcos Jr on track to win Philippine presidential election

Early outcomes confirmed Ferdinand (“Bongbong”) Marcos Jr, son of the late dictator, was on monitor to win Monday’s Philippine presidential election by a big margin, after a marketing campaign run in tandem with Sara Duterte, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Partial and unofficial outcomes representing 77 per cent of nationwide election returns confirmed Marcos had received greater than 25mn votes, placing him heading in the right direction to go an administration that may unite two of the nation’s main political dynasties.

This was greater than double the almost 12mn received by Leni Robredo, Marcos’s closest rival, a progressive candidate who promised a break with the nation’s more and more authoritarian governance. Sara Duterte was main her nearest vice-presidential rival, Kiko Pangilinan, by an excellent bigger margin.

However, Monday’s election was marred by malfunctions in vote counting machines that left many Filipinos queueing for hours or unable to solid their ballots.

Participate, a coalition of non-governmental organisations and educational establishments, mentioned the voting glitches had “led to many Filipinos being unable to cast their vote and possibly being disenfranchised”. 

“As of 7:00pm [on] 09 May 2022, queues outside voting centres are still long in many parts of the country,” the group mentioned in a press release. “Many of these voters have been waiting in line for 5 to 10 hours to cast their vote.” 

Late on Monday, Marcos issued a video “statement of gratitude” to supporters, however stopped wanting declaring victory, saying the counting of votes was not but performed.

If Marcos, 64, is confirmed as winner, it might mark the political rehabilitation of a household that ran certainly one of Asia’s most infamous dictatorships. It would additionally elevate the fortunes of Sara Duterte, 43, who outpolled all rivals, together with Marcos, for the presidency earlier than deciding to run alongside him.

Robredo, 57, narrowly defeated Marcos for the vice-presidency within the election that introduced Rodrigo Duterte to energy in 2016 and was a vocal critic throughout the latter’s time period. Her marketing campaign received enthusiastic grassroots help on a platform of restoring belief in authorities and lifting the financial system.

“We are not merely replacing the top position; this is an informal referendum on Duterte’s politics and policies,” mentioned Aries Arugay, a professor of political science on the University of the Philippines Diliman. “It’s clear that one campaign seeks to continue what Duterte started and one really wants to have a paradigm shift in how politics is conducted.”

Earlier on Monday at a polling station in Quezon City, a part of better Manila, individuals queued across the block to vote, some sporting the purple of Marcos’s marketing campaign or the pink of Robredo’s.

“The country deserves better governance,” mentioned enterprise proprietor Winston Manabat, who was voting for Robredo and believed she might win.

Kenneth Lim, a technician, mentioned he was supporting Marcos as a result of “he will bring change in our country, in the economy”. He mentioned: “I think he will do like his dad.”

Analysts mentioned Marcos’s recognition had been helped by a cautious marketing campaign to reframe his father’s dictatorship as a golden age of prosperity, though billions of {dollars} have been looted from state funds and the Philippines suspended debt funds throughout his rule.

The Marcos household fled to Hawaii in 1986 after dealing with the “People Power” mass protests and Ferdinand died there in 1989, But Imelda Marcos, the dictator’s widow, Marcos Jr and his sister Imee Marcos returned to the Philippines and have since rebuilt their political base.

Victims of the Marcos regime have tried unsuccessfully to dam Marcos’s candidacy by petitioning the nation’s elections fee on the grounds of a previous tax conviction.

A gaggle of greater than 1,400 Catholic monks calling themselves Clergy for the Moral Choice endorsed Robredo, deploring what they referred to as “fake, deceptive and manipulative claims that aim to revise the history of our country”.

“This is not just about candidates, but this is about values, the truth, the freedom to express, and people are being misguided because of the wrong information,” mentioned Fr Jun Sescon, one of many monks backing Robredo. “The priests felt duty-bound to be the voice of truth.” 

Analysts mentioned they anticipated the subsequent authorities, no matter its chief, to proceed pursuing pro-growth insurance policies much like these applied beneath Duterte.

“They have been very quiet about any policy statements because they are so far in the lead,” mentioned Jon Morales, affiliate director with Vriens & Partners, a authorities affairs consultancy. “But most believe they will leave the wheels of the economy to competent people.”

But Morales added he anticipated to see “specific sectors being parcelled out almost as gifts”, which “will shut down competition in some sectors through the creation of various subtle barriers”.

Additional reporting by Guill Ramos

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