Marcos Jr, known by the nickname “Bongbong”, will succeed Rodrigo Duterte after a landslide presidential victory in May.
The family clan will thus move back into the presidential palace of Malacanang, in Manila, 36 years after the popular uprising which led to the overthrow of his father’s dictatorship and the exile of the family to the United States.
Yet described by his father as “carefree and lazy”, Marcos Jr managed to reach the supreme position.
Narrowly defeated in the 2016 vice presidential election by Leni Robredo, “Bongbong” was determined to get his revenge in the May 9 presidential election this year.
Promising to unify the country, Marcos Junior intends to fight against unemployment and inflation, the Covid-19 pandemic having dealt a serious blow to the economy of the archipelago.
He said he was “humble” at the victory and promised to “always strive for perfection”.
“I want to do well, because when a president does well, the country does well and I want to do well for this country,” he told reporters after the results were ratified by Congress.
– He dreamed of being an astronaut –
As a child, he dreamed of being an astronaut. But he ended up following the same fate as his father and entering politics.
Vice-governor then governor of the province of Ilocos Norte, the family stronghold, in the 1980s, Marcos Jr was also a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Mr. Marcos’ ties to his father, the author of a bloody crackdown during the years of martial law, make him one of the most divisive Filipino politicians.
“Bongbong” was boarding in Britain when Marcos Senior declared martial law in 1972.
But he was able to take advantage of social networks to carry out a vast disinformation campaign aimed at young people, who have experienced neither the oppression nor the large-scale corruption that marked the 20 years of his father’s reign.
He also relied on the support of Sara Duterte, daughter of the incumbent president and victorious candidate for vice president, and other members of the political elite.
Marcos Jr and Ms Duterte have in common that they are the children of authoritarian rulers, which has raised concerns among human rights groups and much of the clergy who fear that the two families will settle permanently in power. .
Marcos Jr today defends his father’s regime, whose “political genius” he praises, relying on the strong economic growth of the beginning and public spending under martial law, obscuring the corruption and mismanagement that have then impoverished the nation.
– Avoid the media –
“He says to the world: Judge me, not by my ancestry, but by my deeds,” Vic Rodriguez, a close adviser, said in a statement after Marcos Jr.’s victory.
After the deposed dictator died in Hawaii (USA) in 1989, the Marcoses returned home and began their remarkable comeback to the political forefront, exploiting local allegiances to win a series of high offices. .
They have benefited from the accusations of corruption that have been aimed at the governments that followed the years of dictatorship and from the anger caused by the unequal distribution of wealth.
Wanting to avoid repeating the mistakes of his 2016 presidential campaign, which saw him beset with questions about his family’s past, Marcos Jr shunned the debates and granted only rare interviews, in which he appeared quite uncomfortable.
Even after his victory, the word of Marcos Jr became rare in the media, the chosen one preferring to communicate through Trixie Cruz-Angeles, lawyer and blogger, recently appointed his press officer.
His opponents have tried to have him disqualified from running for president, citing a previous conviction for failing to file taxes, accusing him of lying about his credentials and having nearly $4 billion in inheritance tax unpaid.
Although he called him “weak”, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte supported his candidacy. Some saw it as an attempt by the incumbent president, who is under international investigation for his murderous war on drugs, to obtain guarantees that he will not be prosecuted after his term.