Marcos claims VP victory

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos with US President Ronald Reagan in 1982. Many foreigners might be surprised if their son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, wins the vice presidency. Source: Wikimedia


Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos is claiming victory in the vice-presidential election, saying he has defeated the Liberal Party’s candidate Leni Robredo. He said he had also won the overseas absentee voting (OAV), with a lead of about 86,000 votes over Robredo.

Robredo, however, is claiming victory amid claims of electoral fraud.

Votes for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and some other remote areas are yet to be counted.

Of the OAVs, Marcos said he received 176,669 votes compared to Robredo’s 89,935.

More than 432,000 OAVs voted, a 31-per-cent turnout. In 2010 the OAV turnout was 26 per cent and the 2013 turnout was 16 per cent.

His mother, the infamous former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and his eldest son Sandro have accompanied Marcos on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce capital punishment and give the security services the right to shoot to kill.

Duterte’s other recent announcements include bans on alcohol and smoking and a curfew on children.

He also said he would turn the presidential palace into a hospital. While mayor of the southern town of Davao, more than 1,000 supposed criminals were killed by the authorities and vigilante gangs.

Duterte, 71, told the media in the town: “What I will do is to urge Congress to restore the death penalty by hanging.”

He said he wanted the authorities to be allowed to shoot those involved in organised crime and anyone resisting arrest.

While campaigning he also threatened to kill drug dealers and dump their corpses in Manila Bay.

He said the security forces would be given immunity from prosecution: “Pardon given to Rodrigo Duterte for the crime of multiple murder, signed Rodrigo Duterte.”

But there have been collegiate signs coming from his camp. After his victory he called on his opponents to start the “healing process”. He said the electoral campaign had been “quite virulent for all of us”, referring to “the black propaganda and the false accusation exchange between two sides” as “really part of a day’s work in elections”.

Observers are waiting to see which aspect of Duterte’s personality will dominate when he takes office, particularly in his dealings with China, with which Manila is locked in a bitter dispute over the South China Sea.

Duterte was bullish in the face of international condemnation when last month he joked about a “beautiful” Australian missionary who was raped and murdered during a Davao prison riot while he was mayor. He said, “the mayor should have been first”.

Human Rights Watch called Duterte the “death squad mayor” last year.