May 10, 2022: -On Monday, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appears poised to be the upcoming president of the Philippines as millions started voting under the thousands of security forces after violence that said four lives over the weekend.
According to recent opinion polls, the 64-year-old namesake son of a deposed dictator will win by half the votes to become the first presidential candidate to secure a majority in decades.
The survey showed that he polled at 56%, way ahead of his main rival, incumbent Vice-President Leni Robredo, by 23%.
Popularly called Bongbong, Marcos Jr. is the son of former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He ruled the country with an iron fist for two decades until he was overthrown in 1986 after the mass protests. Marcos is trying to recast his father’s legacy comparable to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy’s family in its glamor during the campaign.
Robredo, a 57-year-old lawyer, and economist, will need a low turnout or a late support increase to score an upset.
Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, aged 77, is constitutionally barred from seeking a second term. He is not any candidate, but his daughter Sara is Bongbong Marcos’ running mate.
Filipinos will be electing a vice-president, senators, lower house legislators, and provincial and local officials in polls estimated to attract about 65.7 million registered voters in the country and 1.69 million others overseas, local media said, which cited figures by the Commission on Elections.
More than 50% of voters are between the ages of 18 and 41, meaning they have no memory of the brutal rule of Marcos Sr. due to they were either not born or too young to understand the mass incarcerations, torture, and different abuses of that era.
After six years of Duterte’s hardline rule, in which the country witnessed a brutal anti-drug war, widespread fears that a landslide win for the younger Marcos may herald a return to authoritarian rule. Both Bongbong and Sara Duterte have said they are best qualified to “unify.”
Elections in the Philippines are marred by violence. On Saturday, four people were killed in a shootout amid candidates for mayoral elections in the northern Ilocos Sur province.
There were 16 election-related violent incidents in this campaign, less than in 2016 and 2019. Over 60,000 security personnel have been deployed to protect polling stations and election workers.