Son of dictator Marcos leads Philippines polls

Manila, Apr 6 (EFE).- Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, leads voting intention polls for the May 9 Philippine presidential elections, with the support of 56 percent of those surveyed in March, according to a Pulse Asia survey published Wednesday.

Despite dropping four percentage points from February, Marcos comfortably leads polls, while his main rival, Leni Robredo, rose 9 percentage points to 24 percent, followed by Isko Moreno (8 percent) and Manny Pacquiao ( 6 percent.)

The possible victory of Marcos, who forms an electoral partner with Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of current President Rodrigo Duterte, creates concern among the victims of those repressed under the regime of his father, accused of torture and looting state coffers.

Some 3,257 people were victims of extrajudicial killings and some 35,000 were tortured, according to Amnesty International, during the Martial Law imposed by Marcos Sr. between 1972 and 1986.

“Bongbong” Marcos has acknowledged human rights abuses during those years, but has downplayed them and described the Martial Law imposed by his father as a time of prosperity and modernization for the country.

May Rodriguez, current director of the Bantayog Foundation, which works with victims of the Marcos dictatorship, was imprisoned for a year, in which she said she was a victim of sexual abuse during her imprisonment.

β€œHe does not need to impose a military dictatorship (…), he is going to inherit a police force that has quotas to kill,” said May, adding that he would surely use that repressive apparatus to silence the strong protests that he predicts if the Marcos family returns to power.

In a statement, Amnesty International said Wednesday it hoped elections would bring about a change in the face of human rights abuses committed during the mandate of Duterte, who came to power in 2016.

In particular, Duterte is accused of the bloody war on drugs, in which thousands of people died in police operations and alleged extrajudicial executions, according to human rights organizations.

Amnesty International said activists, human rights defenders, lawyers and union and indigenous leaders have also been harassed, tortured and killed during these years.

With a powerful social media propaganda campaign, Marcos Jr. has achieved great popular support despite the abuses of his father, who between 1965 and 1986 plundered some $ 10 billion from the public treasury. EFE


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