The Philippines will elect President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor today – a moment that will determine the country’s fate for the next six years.
It seems as though Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the sole son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has the finish line in sight. According to the latest Pulse Asia survey, he has 56% favorability, which is about double that of former human rights lawyer and current Vice President Leni Robredo, who has run a grassroots campaign.
While some believe President Marcos’ reign to be the golden age of prosperity (despite evidence of corruption and human rights violations), others think Bongbong’s presidency will be a painful relapse in history.
“His father did a lot of things [for the Philippines]. He built highways, bridges, hospitals,” said Zenaida Catindig, 59-year-old attendee at a recent Marcos rally, referring to dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ presidential term. “If there’s a case, they should be in jail right now. They’re not in prison. Why are they free, if they are corrupt?”
“If ever he wins, he will be winning on the basis of false narratives and historical distortion,” said Bonifacio Ilagan, convenor of Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law. “I lived through the military dictatorship. I have been imprisoned twice. I have been tortured. I had my sister disappeared and most probably killed, friends suffering the same. And now Marcos Jr is making a comeback. It is horrible. It is like a nightmare.”