Marcos Jr holds commanding lead in Philippines’ polls | Elections News

Ferdinand Marcos Jr held a large lead within the tally of votes within the Philippines presidential election with greater than 70 p.c of eligible ballots counted, unofficial information from the ballot physique confirmed.

Marcos had greater than 23.5 million, far forward of his closest challenger, present Vice President Leni Robredo, a champion of human rights, who had 11.1 million, in accordance with a stay unofficial depend by the ballot physique on Monday.

The massive early lead raises the prospect of a as soon as unthinkable return to rule of the Marcos household, 36 years after its patriarch’s overthrow in a “folks energy” revolution and his household’s humiliating retreat into exile.

It carefully tracks the result of opinion polls this 12 months, which confirmed Marcos, a former senator and congressman, with an enormous benefit over Robredo, who’s allied with the motion that toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

Regardless of its fall from grace, the Marcos household returned from exile within the Nineties and has since been a robust pressure in politics, retaining its affect with huge wealth and far-reaching connections.

The vote was additionally an opportunity for Marcos to avenge his loss to Robredo within the 2016 vice presidential election, a slim defeat by simply 200,000 votes that he sought unsuccessfully to overturn.

Marcos has introduced no actual coverage platform, however his presidency is anticipated to offer continuity from outgoing chief Rodrigo Duterte, whose ruthless strategy proved common and helped him to consolidate energy quickly.

Robredo, a 57-year-old lawyer and economist, had promised to wash up the soiled model of politics that has lengthy plagued the feudal and corrupt democracy, the place a handful of surnames maintain sway.

Tons of of hundreds of red-clad supporters turned out at Marcos and Duterte’s raucous rally in Manila on Saturday, as they made a final push for votes.

 

Regardless of the outcome, Marcos opponents have already pledged to pursue efforts to have him disqualified over a earlier tax conviction and to extract billions of {dollars} in property taxes from his household.

“It’s one other crossroads for us,” Judy Taguiwalo, 72, an anti-Marcos activist who was arrested twice and tortured through the elder Marcos’s regime, instructed AFP information company. “We have to proceed to face up and battle,” she added.

Character reasonably than coverage usually influences many individuals’s alternative of candidate, although vote-buying and intimidation are additionally perennial issues. Misinformation on social media, in the meantime, sought to confuse voters.

The Fee on Elections branded as “pretend and spurious” paperwork circulating on-line exhibiting it had disqualified a senatorial hopeful and 5 political events.

Greater than 60,000 safety personnel have been deployed to guard polling stations and election staff. Police reported a minimum of two lethal shootings at polling stations on the restive southern island of Mindanao that left at least three people dead and three wounded. That adopted a grenade assault on Sunday that injured 9 folks.

The winner of Monday’s election will take workplace on June 30 for a single, six-year time period.

The president-elect will inherit immense issues, together with a pandemic-battered economic system, deep poverty and the legacy of a brutal anti-drugs crackdown led by Duterte.

Apart from the presidency, greater than 18,000 authorities posts are contested, together with half of the 24-member Senate, greater than 300 seats within the Home of Representatives, in addition to provincial and native places of work throughout the archipelago of greater than 109 million Filipinos.

About 67 million have registered to forged their poll through the 13-hour voting, an hour longer than the midterm elections in 2019 to compensate for the anticipated slower queues because of social distancing and different coronavirus safeguards.

Marcos Jr wraps up Philippine election campaign as win expected | News

The prospect of Ferdinand Marcos Jr shifting into the presidential palace has alarmed rights activists and church leaders.

The son of late Philippine chief Ferdinand Marcos wrapped up his presidential election marketing campaign on Saturday with a raucous rally of lots of of 1000’s of supporters, as polls present him heading in the direction of a landslide election win.

Victory in Monday’s election would cap a decades-long effort to rehabilitate the Marcos legacy after the patriarch was deposed and the disgraced household was chased into exile within the US.

The prospect of Ferdinand Marcos Jr shifting again into the presidential palace in Manila has alarmed rights activists, church leaders and political analysts who concern Marcos Jr may rule “with out constraint”.

Tons of of 1000’s of red-clad Marcos supporters gathered on a dusty wasteland missed by a gleaming luxurious on line casino resort on Saturday – a stark reminder of the nation’s huge revenue hole. Wielding nationwide flags, they gathered earlier than a stage that includes an unlimited display of the smiling candidate as Filipino reggae, hip-hop and pop performed at deafening ranges.

“We are going to win so long as you keep awake on Monday so there received’t be one other tragedy,” Marcos advised the group, referring to his claims that he was cheated of victory within the 2016 vice presidential race.

The exceptional return of the Marcos household from pariahs to the height of political energy within the Philippines has been fuelled by public anger about corruption and poverty that endured below governments that adopted his father’s dictatorship.

Photo from 1985 shows then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda [File photo: Romeo Gacad/ AFP]
Photograph from 1985 exhibits then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his spouse Imelda [File photo: Romeo Gacad/ AFP]

Marcos Jr has run a tightly managed marketing campaign, skipping televised debates with rivals and largely shunning media interviews to keep away from personal objectives earlier than election day.

An infinite and well-funded social media misinformation marketing campaign focusing on a largely younger voters with no reminiscence of his father’s violent dictatorship and corrupt rule has additionally sought to rewrite the household’s historical past.

‘Six years of hell’

Human rights defenders and lots of Catholic clergymen have pushed publicly to cease Marcos Jr returning to the seat of energy in Malacanang Palace, the place he grew up.

“Will probably be one other six years of hell,” warned political satirist and activist Mae Paner, 58, who was a part of a well-liked rebellion that ended the earlier Marcos regime.

Ten candidates are vying to succeed present President Rodrigo Duterte within the landmark elections seen by many as a make-or-break second for Philippine democracy.

Polls have indicated Marcos Jr will win greater than half the votes, which might make him the primary presidential candidate to safe an absolute majority since his father was deposed by a “individuals energy” motion in 1986.

Analysts have warned that such an consequence would result in weaker democratic checks and balances, extra corruption and a contemporary try and overhaul the 1987 structure – which may embody scrapping the one-term restrict for presidents.

Earlier administrations, together with Duterte’s, have tried to amend the structure, however they lacked enough help in Congress to push via modifications.

The newest ballot by Pulse Asia Analysis confirmed Marcos Jr on 56 p.c – 33 proportion factors forward of his nearest rival Leni Robredo, who narrowly beat him within the 2016 vice-presidential race.

Such a profitable margin would give Marcos Jr the ability to “govern the best way Duterte needed to”, one longtime observer of Philippine politics advised AFP.

“That’s, with out constraint,” he stated.

Robredo’s current ballot bump has raised hopes amongst progressive supporters that their volunteer-driven marketing campaign may but ship an upset.

However pollster Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia Analysis gave Robredo little hope.

“Our error margin is just plus or minus two proportion factors – given the massive hole, it’s not going to be affecting the outcomes,” Tabunda stated.

‘Our generation’s fight’: Robredo’s campaign to stop Marcos Jr | Elections News

Manila, Philippines – Armed with a stack of flyers, stickers and a few pink wristbands, Hannah Barrantes, a company lawyer by day, hops from bus to bus in Metro Manila’s foremost thoroughfare to make a pitch to its passengers.

“I’m like these missionaries who board buses to evangelise to passengers whereas they’re caught in visitors,” Barrantes informed Al Jazeera. “Solely that I don’t preach the gospel, I unfold the phrase about how we are able to enhance as a nation by good governance that Vice President Leni Robredo guarantees.”

Barrantes is only one of thousands and thousands of principally younger individuals who have turn out to be part of a so-called “pink motion” shifting Heaven and Earth to elect Vice President Leni Robredo as president and thwart the political resurgence of the Marcos household.

The chief of the opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte, Robredo is preventing an uphill battle in opposition to Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his magnificence queen spouse Imelda, within the Philippines’ most consequential elections in current historical past.

Robredo, a human rights lawyer, social activist and mom of three daughters, went into politics after her husband – then a authorities minister – was killed in a aircraft crash. The 57-year-old received a congressional seat in 2013, overwhelmingly defeating a member of the political dynasty in her hometown, and has since continued her husband’s model of participative and progressive politics.

Opinion polls recommend Marcos Jr is more likely to emerge the winner within the Might 9 ballot in what analysts say could be an enormous setback for democracy, at a time when many are struggling from the financial fallout introduced on by Duterte’s poor dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic.

However Robredo is banking on her thousands and thousands of passionate volunteers to pip Marcos on the publish, as she did in 2016 when the 2 have been operating for vp.

They’ve organised mammoth rallies throughout the nation and carried out what she calls a “folks to folks” marketing campaign, together with going home to deal with, organising meals programmes and well being clinics in addition to authorized counselling.

Cleve Arguelles, an educational at De La Salle College, says the type of grassroots motion for Robredo provides a strong different to the standard methods of doing politics within the Philippines, the place individuals are normally paid to attend rallies reasonably than the opposite approach round.

“They’re standing up in opposition to an alliance of a few of the most insidious and highly effective political households within the nation, how they normally run elections, and the type of politics they signify,” Arguelles informed Al Jazeera.

“This motion is inspiring Filipinos to rediscover that the ability of the folks will be stronger than the election machines of political elites and dynasties and even the folks in energy.”

‘Higher life for all’

On a current Sunday, Barrantes, 28, and a bunch of her former schoolmates trooped to a public market in Pasig Metropolis, one of many cities that type the Manila metropolis, to marketing campaign for Robredo and her operating mate Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, who’s operating individually as vp.

Carrying a loudspeaker blasting out Robredo’s marketing campaign jingles – additionally written by volunteers – the group walked by the market, concentrating on tricycle and jeepney drivers and their passengers.

Barrantes approached a driver proudly displaying Marcos Jr’s posters on his tricycle and smiling, made a pitch for Robredo. He mentioned he had already made up his thoughts to vote for Marcos Jr, whose marketing campaign message is unity however is usually criticised for missing substance. By the tip of the dialog, the driving force was nonetheless bent on voting for Marcos Jr, however he accepted the flyers and face masks from Barrantes.

A sea of supporters looking like pink dots at a campaign rally for Lobredo in Baguio City
Robredo’s supporters have been making ready the marketing campaign earlier than Robredo even confirmed she would run for president [Lisa Marie David/Reuters]

However the group was not all the time unfortunate. They have been capable of persuade some who have been undecided or those that have been leaning in the direction of Robredo however nonetheless wavering.

Esperanza Bunda, 51, is a uncommon feminine tricycle driver. After chatting with the campaigners, she determined her vote could be going to Robredo.

“She’s a girl. I’m additionally a girl. If she makes it, we girls shall be proud,” Bunda informed Al Jazeera when requested why she had determined to again Robredo.

Bunda mentioned she admired the way in which Robredo had raised her kids alone and wished that her kids could be as profitable as Robredo’s after seeing an commercial that includes the daughters of the vp.

To cement her help for Robredo, she allowed Barrantes’ group to show Robredo’s posters and stickers on her tricycle. “Sa gobyernong tapat, angat buhay lahat,” the stickers learn, which suggests higher life for all below good governance.

Leni Robredo declared her presidential bid late into the game, however her supporters have been already organising themselves for the marketing campaign.

There are “Legal professionals for Leni”, “Docs for Leni” and even “Kpop stans for Leni”, her signature pink has made its mark throughout the Philippines and social media.

With out the political equipment she loved in 2016, when she had the backing of the incumbent Benigno Aquino, Robredo has organised from the bottom up.

Nevertheless it appears even she has been shocked on the response.

“I believe I simply grew to become the image,” she informed Filipino Nobel laureate and journalist Maria Ressa in an interview final month. “It’s just like the time was proper. The folks at the moment are prepared. It’s like they have been stuffed with bottled-up feelings.”

Her marketing campaign has been buoyed by unprecedented endorsements from Catholic monks and nuns – in a rustic the place 80 % of the inhabitants is Catholic – former diplomats who have been beforehand apolitical, faculties and universities, farmers and fishing communities, and even the Moro Islamic Liberation Entrance.

In a showbiz-crazed society, A-list Filipino celebrities who rake in thousands and thousands in promoting and endorsement income have additionally given their help, becoming a member of door-knocking campaigns or entertaining the crowds at her rallies without spending a dime.

Lots of her supporters say they need a frontrunner who will restore democracy, good governance and decency after six years of democratic backsliding under Duterte.

“This has turn out to be a motion as a result of it’s not nearly electing a selected individual, however electing the governance that all of us need to occur within the Philippines,” mentioned Barrantes.

“We’re preventing in opposition to the present establishment of the Philippines, which is rampant corruption, purple tape, [patronage politics] and it’s significantly the model of Marcos politics that we’re making an attempt to withstand,” she added.

Robredo stands between her two daughters holding her certificate of candidacy for the presidential election
Some voters say they admire Robredo, seen right here with two of her three daughters as he filed her candidacy papers, for citing her kids on her personal after her husband was killed in a aircraft crash in 2012 [Ezra Acayan/EPA]

Compelled from workplace and into exile within the “Folks Energy” rebellion of 1986, the Marcoses have been reviled for the human rights abuses and corruption that marked the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Imelda, in the meantime, was a byword for extra, notorious for her assortment of sneakers.

Regardless of that tainted previous, Marcos Jr, who was a senator between 2010 and 2016, has been campaigning on a platform of “unity”. Critics attribute his reputation to decades-long whitewashing campaigns designed to make his controversial household extra interesting to Filipinos.

Huge or small, everybody in Robredo’s motion has an ambag, the Filipino phrase for contribution to the trigger.

Nica del Rosario, a composer and singer, volunteered to provide a marketing campaign jingle even earlier than Robredo introduced her bid in October 2021. Inside 4 days, she and her group had provide you with “Kay Leni Tayo” which suggests “We’re for Leni”.

Because the tune was adopted by the marketing campaign, it has been translated into varied Philippine languages and carried out throughout the nation.

“I’ve seen how Vice President Leni labored, who she is and what she will be able to do. She’s been an inspiration to me since 2016 so I actually channelled that into displaying individuals who she actually is thru the tune,” Del Rosario informed Al Jazeera.

Del Rosario has additionally produced one other tune titled “Rosas” or rose in English, which was written from the attitude of Robredo hoping for a greater future for Filipinos. That too has turn out to be a success on the vp’s rallies.

“It nonetheless makes me very overwhelmed, very emotional. At this level, I really feel that the tune belongs to the folks, already. I would like them to really feel that this tune is for all of us,” Del Rosario informed Al Jazeera.

 

Mammoth rallies

Robredo and Pangilanan’s rallies are probably the most spirited political gatherings to have been seen within the Philippines in current occasions.

The largest was on April 26 – Robredo’s birthday – when at the very least 400,000 folks stood for greater than 12 hours below Manila’s scorching solar to attend patiently for Robredo to talk.

A number of of the Philippines’ most outstanding celebrities joined the festivities, whereas supporters introduced meals and snacks, a lot of it pink, and others volunteered as medics and marshals.

A Robredo supporter dressed in a long pink ball gown for the 'Flowers of May' goes door to door in a Quezon City neighbourhood
Campaigners for Leni Robredo have gone door-knocking to try to persuade Filipinos to vote for his or her candidate, however opinion polls recommend Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the Philippines’ former dictator, is forward within the polls [Rolex Dela Pena/EPA]

The occasion price some 2.5 million pesos ($50,000) with funding from a donation drive and pledges from sponsors.

“We went to the Pasig rally and we have been impressed by numerous volunteers who introduced meals for everybody. We have been ravenous that day, however we have been joyful that we received full with out spending cash, so we thought, let’s pay it ahead,” Maridel Andaya, who distributed pink bread together with her buddies, mentioned.

The rallies, with requires good governance, justice for victims of extrajudicial killings, and the discharge of Senator Leila de Lima, who has been imprisoned for 5 years on drug fees she denies, echo the mass protests of current years by younger folks in Hong Kong, Thailand and Myanmar.

Whereas the so-called Milk Tea Alliance – a free community of younger activists in East and Southeast Asia – is preventing for democracy and human rights by demanding regime change, Filipino youth try to nip a feared dictatorial rule within the bud by blocking Marcos Jr.

However whereas Robredo could also be successful by way of the fervour and dedication of her supporters, the fact is that Marcos Jr shall be powerful to beat.

An opinion ballot launched this week confirmed that Filipinos’ choice for Marcos Jr stays at 56 factors in contrast with 23 factors for Robredo.

However within the race for the vice presidency in 2016, Robredo additionally got here from behind to win.

“The trail to victory for Leni Robredo is slim. However she confirmed us earlier than, and even on this present race, that she will be able to tread the thinnest of paths,” Arguelles mentioned.

Because the clock counts right down to Might 9, the pink marketing campaign shall be doing all they’ll to make sure their candidate comes out on prime.

“That is our technology’s combat,” Barrantes mentioned. “It’s higher to threat and lose ultimately than not threat and you’ll not overlook it for the remainder of your life.”