KOMPAS.com - Nearly 50 years after his father and the late president declared martial law in the Philippines, Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. is leading the race to become the country’s next president in May 2022 elections.
Pulse Asia, the first major opinion survey conducted since the presidential campaign started in February, showed that Marcos Jr. has maintained a sizable lead over his nine opponents.
Opposition leader and current Vice President Leni Robredo is the closest contender at 16 percent compared to Marcos Jr’s 60 percent.
“Bong-Bong Marcos is in a position not just to win but to win bigger than any other predecessors in recent memory. There is a very high chance that he will take more than 50 percent of the votes. We’re no longer talking about a plurality president but a majority president,” Manila-based political analyst Richard Heydarian told DW.
A victory for Marcos Jr. would make for a stunning political comeback for his family, which has become synonymous with the massive accumulation of ill-gotten wealth and human rights violations. His late father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was toppled in a 1986 uprising after holding power with an iron fist for two decades.
“I really have a hard time seeing how this presidential race can be more competitive,” said Heydarian.
Marcos Jr’s vice-presidential running mate is Sara Duterte, daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has yet to endorse the candidacy of Marcos Jr. and his daughter.
A historical election for the Philippines?
According to Heydarian, the Philippine electorate is no longer vested in the democratic political promises brought on by the 1986 revolution.
“We’re looking at a counterrevolution. People are saying, ‘let’s just go back to the original when it comes to strongmen.”’