MANILA, Philippines ( Associated Press) – After more than three decades of a largely peaceful “People Power” insurgency, Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his son and namesakes are the top contenders in Monday’s presidential election based on most voter-preference polls. emerged as.
Here are some key facts about the key issues, major candidates and election concerns:
what’s at stake
If Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wins, it would be a surprising reversal of the 1986 pro-democracy uprising that ousted his father in global notoriety. Many Filipinos remember the human rights atrocities and plundering that unfolded under his dictatorship and will likely push back against any perceived threat to democracy or Marcos Jr.’s attempt to recover his family’s wealth, which the government had denied. was confiscated as illegal money.
The winner faces enormous problems, including an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic, deepening poverty and unemployment, hyperinflation due to skyrocketing oil and gas prices, decades-old insurgency and swelling political divisions. The successor to outgoing populist leader Rodrigo Duterte may also face calls to prosecute him for his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs that left thousands of impoverished suspects dead and alarmed the international community. The International Criminal Court is investigating these killings as possible crimes against humanity.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The 64-year-old son of the late dictator, a former provincial governor, congressman and senator, is making the Marcos family’s most impressive attempt ever to retake the presidency. His mother, Imelda Marcos, tried unsuccessfully to retake the seat of power twice after returning with her children from exile in the United States to the Philippines, where her husband died in 1989.
Marcos Jr. has defended his father’s legacy and vehemently refuses to apologize and accept the atrocities and plunderings that took place during the dictatorship. Married to a lawyer with whom she has three sons, she has stayed away from controversies, including past tax convictions and the Marcos family’s refusal to pay a large estate tax. Throughout his campaign, he firmly stuck to the slogan of national unity. He denies allegations that he financed a year-long social media campaign that used online trolls to smear opponents and whitewash the Marcos family’s checkered history, daring critics to “show me one.”
As an economics student at a state-run university in the Philippines in the 1980s, Lenny Robredo became involved in mass protests that led to the ouster of the elder Marcos. The 57-year-old also took up the law and successfully ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2013, after her husband, a respected politician, died in a plane crash in 2012. He defeated Marcos Jr. With a narrow margin in 2016 his first electoral face in the race for the post of Vice President. His advocacy focuses partly on protecting human rights and empowering the poor partly by teaching them their legal rights.
The daughter of a trial court judge, Robredo is not one of the prominent families that have dominated Philippine politics for generations, and the campaign is run as an independent run by a network of volunteers. As opposition vice-president, who was elected separately from Duterte, he mostly condemned the killings of poor drug suspects as part of his action, angering the cruel-talking leader and straining his relations for years. made stressful. The mother of three has been cited for her integrity and lifestyle away from the traps of power – she regularly traveled alone by bus to her home province as a Congress member.
Eight other presidential candidates have been left far behind in pre-election polls, including 43-year-old former boxing star Manny Pacquiao, who vowed to build homes for the poor and lock corrupt politicians in “mega-prisons”. . Manila Mayor Isco Moreno, a 47-year-old former TV heartthrob, relied on his rags-to-strength life story and the public’s awe on his massive cleanup of the capital. Former National Police Chief Sen. Panfilo Laxon, 73, has promised to continue harnessing his investigative skills to expose major government corruption.
to secure votes
In addition to the presidency, more than 18,000 government positions will be contested in the elections, including half of the 24-member Senate, more than 300 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as provincial and local offices in the archipelago of more than 109. Million Philippines. Nearly 67 million have registered to cast their vote during the 13-hour polling that began at 6 a.m. in 2019, compared to the midterm election in 2019 to compensate for slower queues due to social distancing and other coronavirus safety measures.
Thousands of police and military personnel have been deployed by communist and Muslim insurgents given the long-term risk and history of often bloody family and political rivalry in rural areas. In 2009, gunmen deployed by the family of the then governor of southern Maguindanao province killed 58 people, including 32 journalists, in an attack on an election convoy that shocked the world.