August 19, 2022

The Philippines begins a new era of Marcos rule, decades after his overthrow

The Philippines begins a new era of Marcos rule, decades after his overthrow

  • “I’ll get it done,” Marcus says.
  • Marcos praises controversial father’s rule
  • Promises of economic reforms to heal the rift

MANILA (Reuters) – The son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was sworn in on Thursday, completing a stunning comeback for one of Asia’s most famous political dynasties, 36 years after it was toppled by popular rule. uprising.

Marcus Jr. scored a rare landslide victory in last month’s election, aided by what his critics see as a decades-long effort to change public perceptions of a family that lived lavishly at the head of one of the world’s worst corrupt regimes. Read more

In a speech that echoed his campaign slogans, Marcus Jr., better known as “Bong Pong,” vowed to take the country off guard with win-win policies, and thanked the public for delivering what he called “the country’s largest electoral mandate.” A History of Philippine Democracy”.

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“You won’t be disappointed, fear not,” he said at his inauguration, surrounded by his immediate family and with his sister Amy, a senator, and his 92-year-old mother, Imelda, a former congresswoman. Sitting near by.

Marcus Jr., 64, also praised his late father’s rule but said his presidency was not about the past but about a better future.

He said, “I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence…but got it done sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without it.”

“That’s how it will be with his son. You won’t get excuses from me.” “We don’t look back with anger or nostalgia,” he added.

Father Ferdinand Marcos has ruled the Philippines since 1965 for two decades, about half of it under martial law, helping him extend his hold on power until his ouster and the retreat of his family into exile during the 1986 “People Power” revolution.

Thousands of Marcos’ opponents were imprisoned, killed, or disappeared during his reign, and the family name became synonymous with nepotism, extravagance, and the disappearance of billions of dollars from state coffers. The Marcos family rejected accusations of embezzlement.

Hundreds of activists were expected to protest Marcos Jr’s inauguration, angry at a campaign backed by a powerful network of supporters and social media influencers bent on debunking historical accounts of the Marcos era.

The former senator and congressman chanted “Together, we shall rise again,” invoking nostalgia for the rule of his father, which his family and supporters portrayed as a golden age for the Philippines, the former American colony.

Voters are counting on him to deliver on his pledges to create jobs and lower consumer prices in a country of 110 million people, nearly a quarter of whom live on less than $2 a day.

In a rousing 30-minute speech, Marcos Jr. pledged reforms in education, to improve food sufficiency, infrastructure, waste management and energy supply and to fully support millions of overseas Filipino workers.

“I fully understand the seriousness of the responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders,” he said. “I do not underestimate it, but I am ready for the task.”

“I will get it done.”

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Editing by Martin Petty and Michael Berry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.