The victory of Ferdinand, BongBong, Marcos Jr. :

8 mins read
source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/7/marcos-jr-wraps-up-philippine-election-campaign-as-win-expected (Philippines presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr greets supporters on the last day of his campaign in Manila on May 7, 2022 [Jam Sta Rosa/ AFP] Introduction)

history, politics and future

On May 9, the Philippines voted for president. Marcos Jr., alias “BongBong”, won the elections with absolute marjoram (58% and became the president of The Philippines; he beat at the polls both Leni Robredo, vice president, exited under the administration of Duterte, leader of the Partido Liber Filippino, and Isko Moreno, the current Union of Manila exponent of the progressive party Aksyon Demokratiko).

The victory of Marcos Jr. is an important event for the political history of the Philippines, a return in some respects to the darkest period in the history of the country, when Ferdinades Marcos, father of the new president of the Philippines, established an authoritarian regime that it reached its peak with the enactment of the Martian law and aggressive censorship until 1986.

The victory of Marcos Jr., even if with a large majority in the polls, is observed with attention, also for the victory as vice-presidency of Sara Zimmermann Duterte, syndicated for two terms 2010-2013 and 2016-2022 of the city of Davao, daughter of outgoing president Duterte, is considered the winning candidate.

The Philippines during Ferdinand Marcos 

The political structure of the Philippines is based on the experience of the colonial period in the country, especially during the U.S. occupation, where the president was directly elected for six years and could not be re-elected.

From 1965 to 1986, the Philippines were under the regime of Ferdinand E. Marcos; during this period, the 1935 constitution based on the Commonwealth was replaced by the 1972 constitution and martial law with presidential amendment No. 1081. Free expression and violence agist the opposition and media propaganda were done to keep the control of the country  ( Rosenberg 1974-1975; Youngblood, 1981). The consequence of martial law and the authoritarian turn during the Marcos period cost the Philippines economic growth in the country. The construction of an oligarchic system, with high levels of corruption and granting more power to the army,  at the intent of the spheres near Maros, will lead to an economic crisis in the Philippines following the collapse of the Marcon regime (Aquino, 1986).

The end of Marcos’ dictatorship in 1986, followed by the ESDA People Power Revolution, was an important step in the political history of the Philippines.

According to Anderson (1988), the Philippines, after the Marcos era,  saw a dominance of elites that made the Philippines into an oligarchic democracy. who ruled the country through liberal narratives, like human rights, and liberty, for marginalized the real issue at the time, the urgency of agrarian reform and redistribution of land (Thompson, 2016) until  the starting of the Duterte period with the victory of 2016 election

New national and foreign policy? 

The connection between Marcos Jr. and Duterte may not be visible if analyzed individually, but it becomes very visible if one examines the entire Filipino political context.

It is important to understand the Philippines’ policy to have a picture of the ongoing situation and how Rodrigo Duterte comes to power. He carried out an anti-liberal policy in contrast to Marcos’s post-end regime liberal one. Furthermore, the narrative of the Philippines as a narco-trafficking country to be “cleaned up” in combination with a nationalist policy has been the workhorses of these six years of rule.

In foreign policy, Duterte was ambiguous. In early 2016, Duterte was more neer to China and Russia compere to the U.S. However, this trend has changed; Duterte has turned his back on China, even with anti-Chinese propaganda in the country, to turn his gaze further west, endorsement, for example, the AUKUS agreement.

The victory of Marcos Jr, the first absolute majority since the end of the regime, came with strategic propaganda and fake news about the “great era”  during the Marcos Senior period. These tactics take some areas, especially in the North, where Marcos’s “nostalgia” sentiment played an important role in the election. Moreover, his alliance with Sara Duterte, well looked at in the country’s South, played a key role in the election victory.

On a national policy probably, Marcos will continue to war on drugs starting with Duterte in the state.

However, many factors need to be observed now. First is the economic and social aspect of the country. The Philippines now has an important domestic debt of 242 billion dollars, this will with an unemployment level of 5.8 %

Marcos does not have a real economic recovery plan. He will probably continue the “Build, Build, Build or BBB” infrastructure plan of the Duterte administration. 

Furthermore, Marcos does not have an adequate plan for reducing unemployment in the country; he stated that the tourism sector needs to be on the government agenda, prioritizing small and medium-sized enterprises.

On foreign policy and ‘more,’ Marcos does not suffer from an anti-West sentiment like his predecessor, so he will try to maintain good US-Philippine relations, especially in the economic contest.

However, importantly, Marcos will increase trade relations with Beijing. In the past, he used to go on business trips to China to do business and probably will support the Chinese business in the Philippines. 

Reference 

Anderson B. (1988),‘Cacique Democracy in the Philippines: Origins and Dreams,’ New Left Review 169, pp. 3-31.

Aquino B.,A (1986) ‘The Philippines: End of an Era’ Current History Vol. 85, No. 510, The Western Pacific, pp. 155-158, 184-185, University of California Press

ARTICLE 19 and  Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) (2005) ‘ Freedom of  Expression and the media in the Philippines’ London, Manila  ISBN 1902598806

Youngblood R.,L. (1981)  ‘Government-Media Relations in the Philippines’Asian Survey , Jul. Vol. 21, No. 7 , pp. 710-728, University of California Press

Rosenberg D.,A. (1974-1975) ‘Civil Liberties and the Mass Media under Martial Law in the Philippines’ Pacific Affairs, Vol. 47, No. 4 , pp. 472- 484 Published by: Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia

Thompson, M. R. (2016), ‘The Early Duterte Presidency in the Philippines’ Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 35, 3, 3–14

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