Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. collapsed when he visited his dictator father’s grave yesterday after he won the election in the Philippines “by a landslide.”
The eponymous son of the deposed ruler won more than 31 million votes in an unofficial count of Monday’s polls in what is expected to be one of the strongest mandates for a Philippine president in decades.
Ferdinand Sr, the husband of Imelda Marcos, was ousted by an uprising in 1986 and the family driven into exile to end a 21-year rule over the country.
Bongbong has steadfastly defended his father’s legacy and refused to apologize for the massive human rights violations and looting under his rule.
He visited his father’s grave at the National Heroes Cemetery on Tuesday, laid flowers and at one point seemed overcome with emotion.
Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. collapsed when he visited his dictator father’s grave yesterday after he won the election in the Philippines ‘by a landslide’
He visited his father’s grave at the National Heroes Cemetery on Tuesday, laid flowers and at one point seemed overcome with emotion
The deposed ruler’s eponymous son won more than 31 million votes in an unofficial count of Monday’s polls
Imelda Marcos, the 92-year-old wife of the late dictator, turned out to vote for Bongbong.
The former first lady, famed for her lavish lifestyle, which includes a collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes, wore a matching red outfit with a rosary and a Chanel pin as she was lifted from a white van to cast her vote.
Marcos junior’s campaign was marked by a relentless online laundering of his family’s brutal and corrupt regime, as well as an embrace of current authoritarian President Rodrigo Duterte, who enjoys widespread popular support.
Rights activists, Catholic leaders and political analysts had all warned that Marcos Jr could rule with an even heavier fist if he wins by a wide margin.
Marcos was able to tap into the widespread anger against a series of post-dictatorship governments, which many Filipinos believe had not materially improved their lives.
Bongbong has steadfastly defended his father’s legacy and refused to apologize for the massive human rights abuses and looting under his rule (pictured together in 1972)
Crucially, he also gained the support of several of the country’s powerful political dynasties, who can be called upon to provide votes through networks of patronage.
His vice presidential running mate, Sara Duterte, also appeared to have won by a landslide.
The separately elected president and vice president will take office on June 30 after the results are confirmed by Congress.
With a single six-year term, they are poised to lead a Southeast Asian nation in need of urgent economic recovery after two years of Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns.
They will also inherit enormous hopes for a way out of crushing poverty, gaping inequality, ending Muslim and Communist uprisings and political divisions fueled only by the turbulent presidencies of their fathers.
Glory Days: Imelda (right) poses with Ferdinand Sr (left) during a military event in November 1985
Imelda Marcos was lifted from a white van to vote in the northern city of Batac
Marcos Jr.’s main rivals. have admitted their defeat, including former boxing star Manny Pacquiao. Marcos’ closest challenger, Vice President Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer who delivered on the promise of much-needed reform, has only acknowledged his massive lead.
“As a boxer and athlete, I know how to accept defeat,” Pacquiao said in a video message. “But I hope that even if I lost in this battle, my fellow Filipinos wallowing in poverty were a winner too.”
The United States, a staunch ally of the Philippines, was one of the first foreign governments to comment after the election.
He expressed his willingness to cooperate with the next Philippine president following an official proclamation, but emphasized that the relationship should be based on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“We look forward to renewing our special partnership and working with the next administration on key human rights and regional priorities,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Bongbong went to a public school in Sussex at £36,000 a year with Harry Enfield, then Oxford
He called Washington’s long alliance with Manila “which shares democratic values and interests,” adding that the U.S. administration would continue to “promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, which are fundamental to U.S. relations with the Philippines.” and in other bilateral contexts’ .’
Asked if the US is concerned about Marcos Jr.’s apparent victory, Price dodged the question but said the election and subsequent vote counting went by international standards without significant incident.
Bongbong and Sarah Duterte, daughter of outgoing populist leader Rodrigo Duterte, campaigned on a platform of national unity without saying how they would heal the wounds left by their fathers since the presidency.
The 64-year-old former county governor, congressman and senator has briefed his mother on important political, economic and foreign policy issues, including how he would respond to calls to prosecute President Duterte, who oversaw a bloody anti-drug campaign that targeted the United States. international community and led to an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
Bongbong won 31 million votes, more than double that of his closest rival, Liberal candidate Leni Robredo
US-based Human Rights Watch asked Marcos Jr. to take immediate action to improve the human rights situation in the country once he took office, including by helping the ICC prosecute Duterte, releasing his long-detained critic, Senator Leila de Lima, and ordering the military and police to stop attacking activists and human rights defenders.
More hard-left groups and survivors of the Marcos dictatorship rejected Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte outright, accusing them of laundering their fathers’ legacies on the campaign trail and in social media propaganda.
“Our generation has shown that even the most ruthless tyrant can be defeated by collective action of the people,” said SELDA, a group of ex-political prisoners and human rights victims during the era of martial law under the late dictator. “Now is the time to harness that power again — the power to change the course of history and reject this nefarious pair of traditional politicians.”
LIFE OF LUXURY: THE DICTATOR’S WIFE WITH 3,000 PAIRS OF SHOES
She was known for collecting a prized collection of shoes that most women would kill for.
Imelda Marcos, wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is said to have owned more than 3,000 pairs before she and her husband were expelled from the Philippines.
The Marcoses fled the country at the height of the military-backed “people power” uprising in 1986, leaving behind staggering amounts of personal belongings, clothing and artifacts in the palace, including the former first lady’s shoes.
The huge shoe collection, reportedly close to 3,000 pairs, including top American and European brands, stunned the world and became a symbol of excess in the Southeast Asian nation, where many still walked barefoot out of abject poverty.
After the 1986 uprising, Aquino had Imelda Marcos’ shoes displayed in the presidential palace as a symbol of the former first lady’s lavish lifestyle. The shoes were then removed from public view and stored in the basement of the palace when Aquino stepped down in 1992.
Imelda Marcos claimed that many of the shoes were gifts from Filipino shoemakers in the suburbs of Marikina City, the shoe capital of the country, for endorsing their products.
Marikina officials borrowed 800 pairs of her shoes in 2001 for a shoe museum, which has become a tourist attraction. However, massive floods damaged dozens of pairs of Marcos shoes in Marikina in 2009.
About 765 pairs, including famous brands such as Gucci, Charles Jourdan, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Chanel and Prada, survived the Marikina floods.
In 2012, it was reported that the shoes still look remarkably new thanks to careful museum care, including displaying them in airtight and dust-free glass cabinets in an air-conditioned gallery away from direct sunlight.
The shoe collection is said to draw a daily crowd of 50 to 100 Filipino and foreign tourists, who almost always left in awe, museum manager Jane Ballesteros said at the time.
Mrs. Marcos was charged but never convicted of stealing state billions to support a lavish lifestyle during Ferdinand’s 20-year reign.
Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in 1989. Among his own assets were paintings by masters such as Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh.