Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks set to be the next president of the philippines as millions began voting on Monday, under the watchful eye of thousands of security forces after violence claimed four lives over the weekend.
According to one of the latest opinion pollsthe namesake 64-year-old son of a deposed dictator, will win more than half of the vote to become the first presidential candidate to win an outright majority in decades.
The poll, published last Monday, showed that he got 56%, well ahead of his main rival, incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, who was at a distant 23%.
Popularly known as Bongbong, Marcos Jr. is the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who ruled the country with an iron fist for two decades until he was ousted in 1986 following massive protests. During the campaign, Marcos has tried to recast his father’s legacy as comparable to the family of former US President John F. Kennedy in its glamour.
Robredo, a 57-year-old lawyer and economist, will need a low turnout or a late rise in support to pull off a victory.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is expected to emerge victorious in the Philippine presidential election, where voters line up to cast their ballots Monday outside a polling station in Batac, Ilocos Norte province.
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Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, 77, is constitutionally barred from seeking a second term. He has not endorsed any candidate, but his daughter Sara is Bongbong Marcos’s running mate.
Filipinos will also elect a vice president, senators, lower house lawmakers, and provincial and local officials in polls estimated to draw around 65.7 million registered voters in the country and another 1.69 million abroad, local media said, citing figures from the Election Commission.
More than 50% of voters are between the ages of 18 and 41, which means they don’t remember the brutal rule of Marcos Sr. because they weren’t born or too young to understand the mass incarceration, torture and other abuses of that time. .
After six years of Duterte’s hard-line rule, during which the country witnessed a brutal war on drugs, there are widespread fears that a landslide victory for young Marcos could herald a return to authoritarian rule. Both Bongbong and Sara Duterte have said they are better qualified to “unify” the country.
Elections in the Philippines are frequently marred by violence. On Saturday, four people were killed in a shootout between candidates for mayoral elections in the northern province of Ilocos Sur. Three security guards were also killed on Monday in Buluan township, on the troubled island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, when gunmen opened fire on a polling station, according to the AFP news agency.
In total, there were 16 election-related violent incidents during this campaign, fewer than in 2016 and 2019. More than 60,000 security personnel have been deployed to protect polling stations and poll workers.