The son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos wrapped up his presidential election marketing campaign Saturday with a raucous rally of a whole lot of 1000’s of supporters, as polls present him heading in direction of a landslide 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 clan chased into US exile. However the prospect of Ferdinand Marcos Jr transferring again into the presidential palace has alarmed rights activists, church leaders and political analysts who worry he might rule "without constraint".
The Marcoses' outstanding return from pariahs to the height of political energy has been fuelled by public anger over corruption and poverty that endured below governments that adopted the dictatorship. A whole lot of 1000’s of red-clad Marcos supporters on Saturday amassed on a dusty wasteland ignored by a gleaming luxurious on line casino resort — 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 will win as long as you stay awake on Monday so there won't be another tragedy," Marcos advised the group, referring to his claims that he was cheated of victory within the 2016 vice presidential race.
Mary Ann Oladive, a 37-year-old name centre employee, mentioned she hoped Marcos Jr would carry unity to the nation. "We hope for greater opportunity and jobs. We trust him, we hope that after the election they will give us a better future in the Philippines," she mentioned.
'With out constraint'
Ten candidates are vying to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte within the landmark elections seen by many as a make-or-break second for Philippine democracy. Polls point out 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 ousted in 1986.
Analysts warn such an end result would result in weaker democratic checks and balances, extra corruption and a contemporary try and overhaul the 1987 structure — which might embrace scrapping the one-term restrict for presidents. Earlier administrations, together with Duterte's, have tried to amend the structure, however they lacked adequate help in Congress to push by means of modifications. The newest ballot by Pulse Asia Analysis confirmed Marcos Jr on 56 % — 33 share factors forward of his nearest rival Leni Robredo, who narrowly beat him within the 2016 vice-presidential race.
Such a successful margin would give Marcos Jr the facility to "govern the way Duterte wanted to", one long-time observer of Philippine politics advised AFP. "That is without constraint," he mentioned.
Robredo's current ballot bump has raised hopes amongst progressive supporters that their volunteer-driven marketing campaign might but ship an upset. There was a carnival ambiance within the capital's monetary district on Saturday as a whole lot of 1000’s of Robredo followers sporting her pink marketing campaign color and waving flags and balloons packed out avenues, dancing to stay Pinoy pop blaring over loudspeakers.
In a rousing speech, Robredo advised her supporters there was "always hope" and declared "victory awaits us". First-time voter Charmaigne Ang, 18, mentioned the election was "very important". "Our next six years of life will depend on it," Ang, 18, advised AFP. "Surveys are not a basis of who will win."
However pollster Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia Analysis gave Robredo little hope. "Our error margin is only plus or minus two percentage points — given the large gap, it's not going to be affecting the results," Tabunda advised AFP.
Bitter marketing campaign
Allegations of soiled tips marred the final week of a bitter presidential marketing campaign, as Marcos Jr warned of vote-rigging whereas Robredo accused him of being a "liar". Marcos Jr has run a tightly-controlled marketing campaign, skipping televised debates with rivals and largely shunning media interviews to keep away from personal objectives earlier than election day.
An enormous and well-funded social media misinformation marketing campaign concentrating on a principally younger citizens with no reminiscence of his father's violent and corrupt rule has additionally sought to rewrite the household's historical past. Marcos Jr's reputation has been additional enhanced by a formidable alliance with vice-presidential frontrunner and first daughter Sara Duterte, and the backing of a number of rival political dynasties.
Days forward of the election, rights defenders and plenty of Catholic monks made a closing push to cease Marcos Jr returning to the Malacanang Palace, the place he grew up. "It will be another six years of hell," warned political satirist and activist Mae Paner, 58, who was a part of a well-liked rebellion that ended the elder Marcos's regime and has been campaigning for Robredo.
A whole lot of monks endorsed Robredo and her operating mate Francis Pangilinan, telling their flocks the election was a "battle for the soul" of the nation. However after enduring six years of assaults from the elder Duterte, Robredo has seen her reputation hammered by a relentless and harsh on-line smear marketing campaign.
Political analyst Richard Heydarian mentioned Robredo's late determination to enter the race had price invaluable time, whereas "unnecessary infighting" amongst rival candidates had benefited Marcos Jr. "They are handing this on a silver platter to the princeling of Philippine politics, Bongbong Marcos," he mentioned, utilizing Marcos Jr's nickname.