Unofficial results showed a landslide victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, in the Philippines presidential election Tuesday.
Marcos Jr. received over 30.8 million votes, far more than the 14.7 million votes captured by his nearest challenger, current Vice President Leni Robredo, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Sara Duterte, the daughter of current Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and running mate of Marcos Jr., also has a significant lead in a separate vice presidential race, the AP reported.
Marcos Jr. thanked his supporters in an address to the nation, but stopped short of claiming victory, the AP noted.
Philippines Marcos dynasty timeline.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr, whose dictator father and namesake plundered and brutalised the Philippines, has reached the endgame of a decades-long campaign to rehabilitate the family brand: the presidency#AFPgraphics pic.twitter.com/6G8gmpWH6G
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 10, 2022
The apparent victory of Marcos Jr. represents a return to power for the Marcos family, which began with the 1965 election of Ferdinand Marcos to the presidency, according to the BBC.
During his tenure, Marcos declared martial law and inaugurated a period of dictatorship and violence directed toward government opponents before he was ousted in a 1986 revolution, the BBC reported. Marcos also had a reputation for corruption and worked with his family to steal approximately $10 billion during his time in power, the outlet noted.
Marcos died in 1989 while in exile in Hawaii, but his family returned to the Philippines in 1991, with Marcos Jr. eventually holding elected offices ranging from congressman to provincial governor and senator, the AP reported. (RELATED: REPORT: Philippines President Duterte Says America Can Use Its Facilities In Case Of War With Russia)
Human rights activists in the Philippines, including those oppressed under the former dictator, reacted with outrage to the apparent victory of Marcos Jr. the AP reported.
Human Rights Watch deputy director for Asia, Phil Robertson, urged Marcos Jr. to improve human rights and “declare an end to the ‘war on drugs’ that has resulted in the extrajudicial killing of thousands of Filipinos,” the AP reported.
If he takes office, Marcos Jr. will inherit a nation plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic difficulties and internal divisions, according to the AP.