MANILA, Philippines ( Associated Press) — The namesake son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos appears to have been elected president of the Philippines by a landslide, in a stunning setback to the 1986 “People Power” pro-democracy revolt that launched his father into infamy. world.
Marcos Jr. obtained more than 30.5 million votes in the first unofficial results, with more than 96% of the votes counted during the night after the elections on Monday. His closest opponent, Vice President Leni Robredo, a champion of human rights and reform, had 14.5 million, and boxer Manny Pacquiao appeared to be third with 3.5 million.
His running mate, Sara Duterte, the outgoing leader’s daughter and mayor of the southern city of Davao, had a huge lead in the vice-presidential race, which is separate from the presidential race.
The alliance of the descendants of two authoritarian leaders combined the voting power of their families’ political strongholds in the north and south, but aggravated the concerns of human rights activists.
Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte avoided contentious issues during their campaign and clung firmly to a rallying cry of national unity, even as their parents’ presidencies opened up some of the most turbulent divisions in the country’s history.
Marcos Jr. has not declared himself the winner, but he has thanked his supporters in a late-night video, urging them to remain vigilant until the vote count is complete.
“If we are lucky, I hope that your help does not decrease, that your confidence does not wane because we have many things to do in the next few years,” he said in his message.
Robredo hasn’t conceded defeat, but has acknowledged Marcos Jr.’s huge advantage in the unofficial count.