Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the Philippines dictator deposed in a 1986 popular uprising, won the presidential election by a wide margin on Monday, according to unofficial results, marking a surprising comeback for the country’s most famous political dynasty. .
What follows is the reaction to his victory.
PETER MUMFORD, EURASIA GROUP PRACTICE HEAD, SOUTH & SOUTHEAST ASIA, SINGAPORE
“Marcos’ apparent landslide election victory is not a guarantee that he will be a popular and/or effective leader, but it gets his presidency off to a good start. In particular, it will create a strong initial gravitational pull on members of Congress…and mean more technocrats/economists will be willing to serve in his cabinet.”
“One of the key watchpoints under your administration will be whether corruption and cronyism, already notable risks in the Philippines, worsen. It will be interesting to see whether he acknowledges these concerns and flags/takes steps in the coming weeks to reassure foreign investors, or whether he mostly appoints close family members and other personal connections to key positions, reaffirming investor concerns.”
ALEX HOLMES, EMERGING ASIAN ECONOMIST, CAPITAL ECONOMICS
“The victory puts Marcos in a powerful position. Given his family background and his checkered political career to date, there is concern among investors that his election will fuel corruption, nepotism and poor governance.”
“Marcos gave few political details in the electoral campaign. But one thing he is eager to do is resume President Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program, which he hopes to ‘expand and improve’. There is no doubt that the Philippines would benefit from improving its infrastructure, which is ranked as one of the worst in Asia.”
“The incoming president is also interested in closer ties with China. Low-interest-rate loans from China could help limit the fiscal impact of the infrastructure push.
“Courting China would likely involve a trade-off in relations with the Philippines’ traditional ally, the US.
TEMARIO RIVERA, FORMER PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
“Marcos Jr’s victory marks the worst rise and concentration of dynastic political power in the country’s political history. But (Vice President Leni) Robredo’s campaign has also given birth to an opposition force that could challenge the ruling regime’s impunities if properly led by progressive leaders who can inspire and move with the people.”
GREG POLING, SENIOR MEMBER AND DIRECTOR, SOUTHEAST ASIA PROGRAM, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, WASHINGTON
“Soon he will be the duly elected president. But 2022 is not 1972. This is not the end of Philippine democracy, although it may hasten its decline.”
“The United States would be better served by engagement rather than criticism of the democratic headwinds plaguing the Philippines.”
“Marcos is a political code. He has avoided presidential debates, avoided interviews and has been silent on most issues. However, he has made it clear that he would like to take another chance to improve ties with Beijing.”
(Reporting by Karen Lema and Martin Petty; Editing by Nick Macfie and Ed Davies)