Son of ousted Philippine dictator headed for landslide victory in presidential election

Supporters of Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. celebrate in Manila
(Image credit: Veejay Villafranca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son of the dictator who stole billions of dollars in public funds during his two decades as president, is on track to become the next president of the Philippines, The New York Times reported Monday.

By early Tuesday morning, more than 90 percent of the ballots had been counted, and Marcos had reportedly received more than twice as many votes as his closest competitor — incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo.

Robredo previously defeated Marcos in the 2016 vice-presidential election.

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The 64-year-old scion poised to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte, who is constitutionally limited to a single term, served as a regional vice governor and governor during his father's dictatorship. The Marcos family was exiled from the Philippines when the elder Marcos was overthrown in 1986 but was allowed to return to the country in 1991. Since then, Bongbong has served as a regional governor, member of the country's House of Representatives, and senator.

Last month, The Washington Post reported that the younger Marcos owes much of his popularity to "a years-long, carefully crafted campaign to rewrite history, harnessing the power of social media to blur the lines between fact and fiction." According to the Post, "fun, hip, glossily edited content" glorifying the Marcos dictatorship has proliferated on YouTube and TikTok.

Bongbong's running mate, Sara Duterte — the mayor of Davao city and the incumbent president's daughter — is also on track to win the separate election for vice president.

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