Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has been proclaimed the president-elect of the Philippines, undoing the legacy of a democratic revolt that ousted his dictator father from office in 1986.
Congress declared Marcos Jr. the presidential poll winner on Wednesday after he amassed more than 31 million votes in the official tally.
His running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of outgoing autocrat Rodrigo Duterte, was proclaimed vice president-elect with some 32 million votes. The incoming administration thus unites the two leading political dynasties of the Southeast Asian country of 110 million.
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Both the president and the vice president are limited to a six-year term under the Philippine constitution. Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio will take office on June 30.
Marcos Jr.’s father, the late Ferdinand Marcos, ruled the Philippines for 21 years starting in 1965. He quashed term limits after declaring nationwide military rule in 1972. From then until 1981, more than 3,000 of his political opponents were killed while some 70,000 were arrested—many of them journalists, church leaders, and students.
He and his wife Imelda also siphoned an estimated $10 billion from the national treasury during his two-decade rule.His family’s return to power has been fueled in part by disinformation on social media platforms like TikTok and Facebook, but also by the failure of succeeding leaders to solve long standing issues, like poverty, that the 1986 uprising had promised to fix.
The younger Marcos is set to inherit from Duterte the traumatic ramifications of a bloody drug war, an economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical challenges posed by U.S.-China tension in the Asia-Pacific region.