Son Dictator Philippines Wins Election
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MANILA (Worthy News) – Nearly four decades after the ouster of their dictator, Filipinos chose his son and namesake to lead the Philippines as its next president, official results showed.
With more than half of the votes counted, Ferdinand Marcos Junior had a massive lead of more than 9 million votes over his main rival Leni Robredo, the current Vice President and Head of the opposition.
There have been reports of irregularities and violence in at least some areas of the heavily Catholic nation, but it wasn’t clear how much that had impacted the outcome of Monday’s presidential poll.
With 57.7 percent of election returns counted as of 8:47 pm Manila time, Marcos had 18.9 million votes, more than double Robredo’s nine million votes, according to official results aired by the local ABS-CBN News broadcaster.
Sara Duterte, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is running for Vice President in support of Marcos, is also led by a wide margin. She had 18.6 million votes, more than triple her nearest rival, Senator Francis Pangilinan, who had six million votes, the first results showed.
But by the time polls closed at 7 p.m., there were accounts of alarming irregularities across the Asian country. Worthy News initially received video footage from a frustrated voter recording violence in the Binidayan municipality of Lanao del Sur province.
An angry woman shouted, “why did you destroy the ballot?” towards officials. Ballot papers were seen lying on the ground amid chaotic scenes.
Soon after, panic ensued among bystanders standing outside as nearby men with sticks beat up one or more persons, some lying on the ground.
Sources told Worthy News that fighting broke out after voters claimed their ballots for Marcos Jr. Instead, they argued, the voting machine had registered them to vote for Leni Robredo, the current vice president and head of the opposition.
Voting later resumed, but it was unclear whether all ballots were correctly counted, voters told Worthy News.
Following the incident, more reports emerged of malfunctioning voting machines and insufficient numbers of backup devices.
And, there were complaints that voters had been left off registration rolls and that their ballots had been tampered with.
But even if Robredo challenged results in areas of irregularities, it appeared unlikely she would prevail.
The comeback of the 64-year-old Marcos marks a historic political turnaround for the family that was deposed and forced into exile after an uprising. “I hope they will not turn back to martial law,” a devoted Christian voter told Worthy News.
In 1986, millions of Filipinos, angry at the thousands of killings and other rights abuses and corruption committed during the Marcos regime, poured into the streets. The protests, known as the “People Power” revolt, forced the family to flee to Hawaii. They returned after the death of the older Marcos in 1989, however.
Marcos, known by his boyhood nickname, “Bongbong,” pledged to “unite” the country, saying he “would help Filipinos rise again.”
But critics argue he has not provided many details and accepted only a few media interviews to explain his vision for the future.
If confirmed, Marcos will replace the hardline President Rodrigo Duterte, 76, who was constitutionally barred from re-election.
Duterte’s successor is expected to face domestic and international calls to prosecute him for his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.
He encouraged extrajudicial executions of those involved in the drugs trade and said he would “be happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts in the country.
The International Criminal Court has investigated the killings as a possible crime against humanity.
President Duterte said in 2016 that he shot dead three men while mayor of Davao and that he murdered a person during his violent teenage years when he was “in and out of jail.”
Marcos Jr. also inherits a nation still suffering of decades-old insurgencies, an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic, deeper poverty, unemployment, and hyperinflation.
Rising oil and natural gas prices, in part linked to the war in Ukraine, also contributed to the troubles in the country.
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