Thursday, December 8

Bongbong Marcos is emerging as the winner of the Philippine elections

Special envoy to Manila



By midnight, even before the official results were announced, isolated strings of fireworks had already begun to explode over the Manila sky. As the polls predicted, but many refused to believe, the dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcoswhich has the same name and is known as Bongbong, is emerging as the undisputed winner of the Philippine elections held this Monday.

According to the partial and unofficial results offered at midnight by the Transparency Server of the Electoral Commission, which already represented 81.8 percent of the count, Bongbong Marcos doubled the votes of his most direct rival, Vice President Leni Robredo. For his 12.5 million votes, Bongbong had 26.3 million, which made Robredo’s comeback impossible at that point in the count.

Of the 67.4 million voters registered, Marcos can obtain almost half of the votes after a day of very high participation.

From the time the polling stations opened at six in the morning until they closed at seven in the evening, very long queues formed at their doors. They took up to three hours to vote at the Barasoain school in Malolos, near Manila. Resisting the intense heat, the crowd fanned themselves with oriental stoicism as they waited their turn. Added to the influx of public was the complexity of the Philippines’ broadsheet, which includes not only the ten presidential candidates, but also a long list of senators, congressmen, governors and mayors. In total, up to 18,000 public officials were elected.

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“I am going to vote for the BBM president, Bongbong Marcos. Why? Because I have seen the era of Corazon Aquino”, explained Pia Tan, a 42-year-old housewife referring to the widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino and the first democratic female president of the Philippines after the overthrow of the dictator. As a reaction against her government and that of her son Noynoy, she was betting on giving “the next Marcos a chance because what her father has taught him will surely bring something better to the Philippines.” Reluctant to talk about the dictatorship, she recounted that “my father and my mother lived through that time and they say it was very good because of the discipline of the people. Most of my relatives had a good life during Martial Law. Some may criticize it because they have something bad behind it.

Not even the kleptocracy of the Marcos, estimated between 5,000 and 10,000 million dollars (between 4,727 and 9,455 million euros), deters his supporters. “Are you sure it was? Were we there to see it? If they really took the money, do you think they would have the guts to go back to the Philippines and become governors, like Bongbong Marcos in Ilocos Norte after their return? Bongbong, accused of misinforming and rewriting the past.

“There are people who have fought for us to have freedom and get rid of his father’s dictatorship and now there comes a time when his son is running for election and some of the Filipinos support him,” reflects Nicole Miranda

Outside the Philippines, few understand the success of the dictator’s son, deposed in 1986 by the People Power Revolution. “Actually, we don’t fully understand either. There are people who have fought for us to have freedom and free ourselves from the dictatorship of his father and now there comes a time when his son is running for election and some of the Filipinos support him », he was surprised Nicole Miranda, young employee of a European multinational. For her, the only possible explanation is that Marcos’ followers “receive false information, but that is what they believe and the only thing we can do is oppose it.”

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While Robredo has the support of the urban middle class, university students and businessmen, the poor and rural masses support Bongbong Marcos and his Vice President Sara Duterte, daughter of the current president, very popular for her bloody dirty war on drugs. A strong hand that, due to the high level of criminality, many Filipinos support, but that is even transferred to the field of political bullying.

Harassment of the opposition

So he has suffered Andy Dugay, Leni Robredo volunteer, campaigning in the province of Ilocos Norte, a stronghold of Los Marcos. “It’s really very hard to campaign for another game here because we know it’s Marcos’ territory. We go house to house and we find harassment. Sometimes there are cars around us, following the team », he denounced last weekend after distributing his brochures around Paoay. Although he complained of having “suffered a lot of hostility”, he resignedly acknowledged that “this is what it is”.

“A Bongbong victory will be an absolute disaster for the Philippines due to its return to economic plunder and cronyism,” says Vicente Rafael

For Vicente Rafael, Professor of History at the University of Washington and author of the book ‘The Sovereign Trickster’ on President Rodrigo Duterte, “a Bongbong victory will be an absolute disaster for the Philippines for its return to economic plunder and cronyism.” As some international consultants have already warned, Professor Rafael warns that “foreign investors will be cautious when they realize that they will have to surrender to extortion and demands for bribes by officials of the regime.” In addition, he predicts that the alliance with Sara Duterte, engineered by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, “will be an intensification of authoritarianism, corruption and the war on drugs.”

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In Navotas, one of the poorest slums in the Philippines, Bongbong smiles from an election poster that hangs from the shacks, in front of which a group of children play cops and junkies with fake guns. Thirty-six years after being overthrown, the dictatorial Marcos family is once again in power in the Philippines.

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