Provisional count indicates Marcos as next Philippines president

Manila, May 9 (EFE).- “Bongbong” Marcos, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is expected to be the next president of the Philippines, with an overwhelming majority in the presidential elections held Monday, according to a provisional data of the votes counted.

Marcos, 64, is set to succeed Rodrigo Duterte for a single six-year term, with almost 60 percent support, according to unofficial data released after a count of more than half the votes.

Current Vice President Leni Robredo remains far behind with half the votes secured by Marcos, according to the data, which has not been verified by the election commission, or COMELEC.

This would mean the Marcos family’s return to power in the Philippines, after Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown by a peaceful revolution in 1986, bringing an end to a 21-year rule by the dictator, under whom at least 3,257 people were summarily executed, thousands of people tortured and some $10 billion were embezzled from the public coffers.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of current President Rodrigo Duterte and who contested in tandem with Marcos for the vice-presidency, is also believed to have obtained a clear victory, with about 60 percent of the votes in her favor.

All the pre-poll surveys during the three-month election campaign indicated popular support for Bongbong Marcos despite his father’s legacy of plunder and oppression.

These elections are expected to be the first in three decades in which a candidate secures an absolute majority. In the Philippines, the winner only needs to secure the most number of votes to be elected president.

A widespread disinformation net spread over social media channels through fake news, and personal and vile attacks marred the three-month campaign for the presidential race, which ended on Saturday.

Nobel Peace awardee journalist María Ressa had, for years, warned against the dangers of a disinformation campaign on Facebook and other social media networks.

Having harnessed the power of social media, the Marcoses have successfully re-branded the family name, downplaying or denying the atrocities of the dictator who ruled from 1965 to 1986.

Earlier during the day, polling stations across the country witnessed long queues amid technical problems resulting in an extension of the closing time for its 67 million eligible voters.

Besides the president and vice president, the people also voted to fill in 12 seats in the Senate, positions in the House of Representatives, and numerous provincial and municipal posts. EFE


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