There is also concern that a Marcos victory would signal the end of the Philippines’ liberal democracy.
“This is the battle of the heart and soul of the country,” Nicole Curato, a sociologist and political analyst told DW.
“I don’t mean to suggest that Marcos Jr. will impose martial law like his father did, but he will have the executive power to undermine institutions that were created in response to his father’s abuse of power,” she added.
Curato has been interviewing supporters of Marcos Jr and believes many voters have responded to his populist calls for national unity, which have resonated among Filipinos continuing to suffer from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unity is an appealing message because it is not antagonistic. Many view the opposition’s calls for [government] accountability as political bickering that does little to uplift the lives of many Filipinos,” Curato said.
“His message is simple: Division is what stands in the way for us to achieve our dreams. His message does not discuss the root of the problems which cause hurt and anger. It is, in many ways, a toxic form of positivity,” she added.
Who is supporting Marcos Jr?
A breakdown by age demographic of Pulse Asia's February results shows that 63 percent of millennials, or those roughly between the ages of 25-34, want Marcos Jr. to be the next president.
Majie Cabatian, a 26-year-old homemaker with two children, supports Marcos Jr.