Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s party on Tuesday expressed support for Ferdinand Marcos Junior, son of former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos, as his opponent Leni Robredo gains ground. That is what the chairman of PDP-Laban said.
Neither the chairman of the president’s party nor President Duterte’s spokesman clarified whether President Duterte himself supports the presidential candidate. Marcos Junior, also known as Bongbong Marcos, described the current head of state as “weak”. Marcos Junior’s spokesman applauds President Duterte’s party support but warns of “rumours of possible fraud in the upcoming election”.
In the Philippines, it is customary for the outgoing president to nominate the candidate he considers a suitable successor. In this way, the outgoing president hopes to receive protection from his successor against possible prosecution and preserve his privileges.
Meanwhile, Leni Robredo, the country’s vice president and presidential candidate for the Liberal Party, is gaining ground. She is the sworn enemy of both Bongbong Marcos and President Duterte and is now second in the polls.
At the same time, Bongbong Marcos tries to divert attention from the abuses committed when his father ruled the country from 1965 to 1981, such as torture, rape, executions and the misappropriation of government funds. In 2013, the Philippine government recognized the crimes committed under martial law, which Father Marcos declared in 1972. The government awarded $190 million in damages to more than 11,000 victims. A total of 75,000 people had requested compensation.
According to the Election Commission, 56 percent of the Philippines registered to vote were born after martial law.