Protests erupted with the return of Philippine elections for Marcos to the presidency

  • Marcus leads in the unofficial tally by a large margin over his rivals
  • Philippine stocks fall, but rise after the elections
  • About 400 anti-Marcos protesters gathered in front of the polling station
  • Poll rejects appeals seeking to exclude Marcos

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines awoke on Tuesday to a new but familiar political landscape after Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s election victory paved the way for a previously unimaginable return to the country’s highest office of a political ruling family.

Marcos, better known as “Pong Pong,” defeated arch rival Lenny Robredo to become the first candidate in modern history to win an outright majority in the Philippines’ presidential election, marking the stunning return of the son of a ousted dictator of the same name decades ago. in making. Read more

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

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Marcos’ runaway victory in Monday’s election now appears certain, with about 98% of eligible votes counted in an unofficial count, with nearly 31 million votes cast, double Robredo’s votes.

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

“There are thousands of you, volunteers, parallel groups, and political leaders who have thrown so much with us because of our belief in the message of unity,” Marcos said in a statement broadcast on Facebook, while standing next to the Philippine flag.

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

Philippine stocks (.psi) It fell 3% on Tuesday before paring losses. The decline tracked weaker global stocks, although analysts cited uncertainty about what policies Marcos might pursue.

“Investors want to see his economic team,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market analyst at BDO Unibank in Manila. Meanwhile, the peso rose 0.4% against the dollar.

Many millions of Robredo voters are outraged by what they see as a shameless attempt by the former First Family’s disgraceful attempt to use their mastery of social media to reinvent historical narratives about their time in power.

Thousands of opponents of Marcos the Elder suffered persecution during the brutal 1972-1981 martial law era, and the family name became synonymous with plunder, nepotism and extravagant living, with billions of dollars in state wealth disappearing.

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

Students in protest stage

About 400 people, mostly students, staged a protest in front of the Election Commission on Tuesday against Marcos, citing electoral irregularities.

The Election Commission (Komelec), which said the vote was relatively peaceful, also on Tuesday backed its rejection of complaints from various groups, including victims of martial law, which sought to exclude Marcos from the presidential race on the basis of the 1995 tax conviction of evasion.

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The leftist group Akbayan, one of the petitioners, said it would appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, calling it a “grave institutional failure”.

The big win for Marcos was securing President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, for the vice presidency. It won more than three times as many votes as its nearest competitor, and it also likely expanded Marcus’ appeal in many areas.

The Karapatan human rights group called on Filipinos to reject Marcos’ new presidency, which it said was built on lies and disinformation to “remove bad smells from Marcos’ hateful image”.

Marcus, who steered clear of debates and interviews during the campaign, praised his father as a genius and statesman, but was also irked by questions about the martial law era.

As the vote count showed how much Marcos won, Robredo asked her supporters to continue their struggle for the truth until the next election.

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

Marcos has provided few clues along the course of his election campaign as to what his political agenda will look like, but he is widely expected to keep a close eye on outgoing President Duterte, who has targeted big infrastructure work, close ties with China and robust growth. Duterte’s tough leadership style has earned him huge support.

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Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales. Written by Martin Petty; Editing by Ed Davies and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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