What 'Bongbong' Marcos' victory means for the Philippines

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has won the presidency in the Philippines, defeating incumbent Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo by a two-to-one margin. Marcos, known by his childhood nickname, Bongbong, successfully harnessed the power of social media to boost his campaign and rehabilitate the reputation of his father, Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted from power in the 1980s after being accused of stealing billions from the national government. Marcos Jr., 64, is no newcomer — he served for years in regional offices then built a national profile as a senator. But his election, The Associated Press noted, marked "an astonishing reversal of the 1986 'People Power' pro-democracy revolt that booted his father into global infamy."

Several hundred people, most of them students, protested the election results in front of the national election commission office in Manila, the capital. Robredo urged her supporters to keep fighting against "the structures of lies" Marcos' critics say he used to embellish his own record and whitewash his family's bloody and corrupt history. Marcos released a statement through his spokesperson, Vic Rodriguez, saying: "Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions." Rodriquez called Marcos' landslide "a victory for all Filipinos." Will such a resounding election win unite the country, or, by electing the son of a dictator, have Filipinos put their democracy at risk?

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.