Philippine Election Explained: Why they Elected a Dictator’s Son


on Monday 68 million Filipinos went to the polls to decide who should replace their current president Rodrigo Duterte for the next six years even to an outsider, this was a pretty exciting election the candidates included former 8th division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and 

nearly Duterte's own daughter Sarah so in this blog, we're going to be taking a look at the race the results and what this all might mean for Filipino politics going forward so, before we get into the results a bit on the race itself in accordance with the 1987 constitution of the Philippines a general election is held every six years presidents are limited to one term while vice presidents are limited to two at each general election a whole load of positions were up for grabs as well as the presidency and the vice presidency there were also 12 senate seats 316 house of representative seats and about 18000 local positions available President and vice president are elected by first pastor post which just means whoever gets the most votes in the first round wins anyway last time around in 2016 the presidential election was won by Rodrigo Duterte a straight-talking strongman who used to be Devoe city mayor Duterte was elected on a platform promising to crack down on the illegal drug trade and invest in Filipino infrastructure as part of his build-build build program Duterte's aggressive anti-drug policies have come under some criticism from international organizations in September of last year the international criminal court opened an investigation into his so-called war on drugs which according to the ICC has killed somewhere between 12 and 30000 people a majority of which were probably judicial killings encouraged by the state nonetheless Duterte's crackdown has undeniably led to a reduction in crime according to official data crime has dropped by an astonishing 74 percent in the five years since Duterte took charge Duterte's infrastructure 

investment have also paid off in the three months before covert the economy grew more than six percent each year all this has meant that Duterte has enjoyed impressively high approval ratings his approval ratings have remained above 70 for almost all of his tenure and his average approval rating is higher than any Filipino president before him this is why many people thought that his daughter Sarah would run for president to replace her father who isn't allowed a second term Sarah could run as her father's obvious successor and ride his popularity Duterte and his daughter actually did a similar thing in Davao when he was mayor before handing over to his daughter for most of the last year Sarah was actually ahead in preliminary polling and was the bookie's favorite for the president however, in September Sarah announced that she wouldn't be running for president and would instead be running for vice president that left Ferdinand Marcos jr commonly known as bong bong Marcos and the son of Ferdinand Marcos senior as the front-runner for those of you don't know Ferdinand Marcos senior was a dictator who ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986 Marco's senior was to 

put it lightly a controversial figure he embezzled an estimated 10 billion dollars from the state coffers imposed 

martial law for nine years to silence political opponents and critical media and only left office in 1986 after 

massive street protests and the loss of support from the police and army bong bong and Duterte have encouraged in a propaganda campaign to rehabilitate the Marcos family name in Filipino politics according to their revisionist history Marcos senior's reign marked a golden era of political stability and economic prosperity the two families have formed a loose political alliance in 2018 bong bong became a senator as a member of Sarah's new faction for change party and this year the two are running on a joint ticket called uni team which has been endorsed by Rodrigo Duterte's PDP Laban party apart from dynastic continuity it's hard to know what 

Ferdinand Marcos really stands for his campaign talks a lot about unity but they're very light on detail and in his 30 years in public life during which he's had stints as a congressperson senator and governor, he's never really taken a strong stance on policy Marcos has shunned tv debates and avoided interviews with media outlets his camp considered unfriendly and last month the Filipino tax agency ruled that he owed 203 billion pesos which comes to about 3.9 billion us dollars' worth of taxes due on the estate of his late father his main opponent in the race is Leni Robredo a human rights lawyer who is also, the current vice president Robredo has been a vocal critic of Duterte senior's war on drugs and is running on essentially an anti-corruption campaign promising to end the Philippines reliance on unscrupulous political dynasties this is a particular problem in the Philippines like bong bong Rodrigo Duarte's two predecessors were also sons of former presidents nonetheless despite improving numbers and impressive campaign rallies Rodrigo struggled to match Marco's poll ratings which never really dropped below 50 percent going into the election on Monday polls were giving Marcos something like a 30-point lead over rob rado with other candidates polling on less than 10 percent similarly, Sarah Duterte has maintained a healthy lead over other vice presidential candidates and went into the election enjoying a 40 lead over second-placed Kiko Rodrigo's vice presidential candidates as the polls predicted Marcos and Duterte won their respective races by quite some distance we should say here that we're writing this blog on Monday evening Philippines time so only about 50 of the votes have been counted but the outcome is already pretty clear in the presidential race Marcos is in first place with 60 percent of the vote Robredo is in second place with 28 of the vote and former eight division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao who ran a socially conservative campaign not dissimilar to Duterte's in 2016 in third with about five percent of the vote rob radio won most of the regions in the centre and west of the Philippines while Marcos won in the north and the south similarly Sara Duterte is currently well ahead in the vice-presidential race with 60 of the vote kikois in second place with 18 and Tito Soto a former actor and tv host is in third with about 17 of the vote so what does Marcos's victory mean for the Philippines well as we mentioned earlier he's not particularly detail-oriented so it's hard to know for sure but given his close links to the Duterte family and Duarte's own popularity you can probably expect some degree of continuity.

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