• Marcos leads the unofficial account by a wide margin over his rivals
  • Philippine stocks fall, but the peso rises after the elections
  • About 400 anti-Marcos protesters demonstrate in front of the electoral commission

MANILA, May 10 (Reuters) – The Philippines woke to a new but familiar political dawn on Tuesday, after the electoral triumph of Ferdinand Marcos Jr paved the way for an unimaginable return to the country’s highest office for its most notorious political dynasty.

Marcos, better known as “Bongbong,” defeated his bitter rival Leni Robredo to become the first candidate in recent history to win a majority in the Philippine presidential election, marking a stunning comeback for a dictator’s son and namesake. overthrown that has been decades in the making. . read more

Marcos fled into exile in Hawaii with his family during a 1986 “people power” uprising that ended his father’s 20-year autocratic rule, and he has served in Congress and the Senate since returning to the Philippines in 1991.

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Marcos’ landslide victory in Monday’s election now looks certain with 96% of eligible votes counted in an unofficial tally, showing he has more than 30 million votes, twice as many as Robredo.

An official result is expected at the end of the month.

“There are thousands of you out there, volunteers, parallel groups, political leaders who have joined us because we believe in our message of unity,” Marcos said in a statement broadcast on Facebook, standing next to a national flag.

Although Marcos, 64, campaigned on a platform of unity, political analysts say his presidency is unlikely to foster that, despite the margin of victory.

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Philippine stocks (.PSI) fell about 3% on Tuesday, trailing weaker global stocks, but analysts also cited concerns about a Marcos victory, particularly its fiscal implications if he follows through on his promises to subsidize food and fuel. .

The peso currency, meanwhile, advanced 0.3% against the dollar.

Many among Robredo’s millions of voters are angered by what they see as a brazen attempt by the disgraced former first family to use his dominance of social media to reinvent historical narratives of his time in power.

Thousands of opponents of Marcos Sr. suffered persecution during a brutal martial law era from 1972-1981, and the surname became synonymous with looting, cronyism and extravagant living, with billions of dollars of state wealth disappearing.

The Marcos family has denied any wrongdoing, and many of their followers, bloggers and social media influencers say historical accounts are distorted.


Around 400 people, mostly students, staged a protest in front of the electoral commission on Tuesday against Marcos and citing electoral irregularities.

The electoral commission, which said the vote was relatively peaceful, is due to rule Tuesday on petitions seeking to reverse its dismissal of complaints seeking to bar Marcos from the presidential race.

The human rights group Karapatan called on Filipinos to reject the new Marcos presidency, which it said relied on lies and disinformation “to deodorize Marcos’s obnoxious image.”

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Marcos, who shied away from debates and interviews during the campaign, recently praised his father as a genius and a statesman, but also resented questions about the martial law era.

When the vote count showed the extent of Marcos’ victory, Robredo told his supporters to continue their fight for the truth until the next election.

“It took time to build the structures of lies. We have time and opportunity to fight and dismantle them,” he said.

Marcos gave few clues on the campaign trail about what his political agenda would be like, but is expected to keep a close eye on outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, who has pointed to big infrastructure works, close ties with China and strong growth. Duterte’s tough leadership style earned him widespread support.

Washington needed to engage with Manila rather than criticize “democratic headwinds in the Philippines,” said Greg Poling, a Southeast Asia analyst at the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“This is not the end of Philippine democracy, although it may hasten its decline,” Poling said.

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Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Writing by Martin Petty; Edited by Ed Davis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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