mcloudyn.png
Thursday July 7th, 2022 3:11AM

Dictator's son far ahead in Philippine presidential vote

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The son and namesake of ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos took a commanding lead in an unofficial vote count in Monday’s presidential election in the deeply divided Asian democracy.

With 80% of the votes tabulated, Marcos Jr. had 25.9 million, far ahead of his closest challenger, current Vice President Leni Robredo, a champion of human rights, who had 12.3 million.

The election winner will take office on June 30 for a single, six-year term as leader of a Southeast Asian nation hit hard by two years of COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns.

Still more challenging problems include deeper poverty and unemployment and decades-long Muslim and communist insurgencies. The next president is also likely to hear demands to prosecute outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte for thousands of killings during his anti-drug crackdown — deaths already under investigation by the International Criminal Court.

Duterte’s daughter, southern Davao city Mayor Sara Duterte, is Marcos Jr.’s vice presidential running mate in an alliance of the scions of two authoritarian leaders. Their partnership has combined the voting power of their northern and southern political strongholds, boosting their chances but compounding worries of human rights activists.

Sara Duterte also had a formidable lead with 25.8 million votes for vice president in the unofficial count from the Commission on Elections server. The president and vice president are elected separately in the Philippines.

“History may repeat itself if they win,” said Myles Sanchez, a 42-year-old human rights worker. “There may be a repeat of martial law and the drug killings that happened under their parents.”

In a late-night video statement, Marcos Jr. did not claim victory but thanked his supporters for accompanying him on “this sometimes very difficult journey” and urged them to keep up their guard until the vote count is completed.

“Let us keep watch on the vote,” he said. “If we’ll be fortunate, I’ll expect that your help will not wane, your trust will not wane because we have a lot of things to do in the times ahead.”

Marcos Jr., whose father was ousted in a 1986 army-backed “People Power” uprising, held a wide lead in pre-election surveys. But Robredo tapped into shock and outrage over the prospect of a Marcos recapturing the seat of power and harnessed a network of campaign volunteers to underpin her candidacy.

Officials said the election was relatively peaceful despite pockets of violence in the country’s volatile south. Thousands of police and military personnel were deployed to secure election precincts, especially in rural regions with a history of violent political rivalries.

Filipinos stood in long lines to cast their ballots, with the start of voting delayed by a few hours in a few areas due to malfunctioning vote machines, power outages, bad weather and other problems.

Eight others were in the presidential race, including former boxing star Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and former national police chief Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Sanchez said the violence and abuses that marked the martial-law era under Marcos, and Duterte’s drug war more than three decades later, victimized loved ones from two generations of her family. Her grandmother was sexually abused and her grandfather tortured by counterinsurgency troops under Marcos in the early 1980s in their impoverished farming village in Southern Leyte province.

Under Duterte’s crackdown, Sanchez’s brother, a sister and a sister-in-law were wrongfully linked to illegal drugs and separately killed, she told The Associated Press in an interview. She described the killings of her siblings as “a nightmare that has caused unspeakable pain.”

She begged Filipinos not to vote for politicians who either openly defended the widespread killings or conveniently looked away.

Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte avoided such volatile issues in the campaign and steadfastly stuck instead to a battle cry of national unity, even though their fathers’ presidencies opened some of the Philippines’ most turbulent divisions.

“I have learned in our campaign not to retaliate,” Sara Duterte told followers Saturday night on the final day of campaigning, where she and Marcos Jr. thanked a huge crowd in a night of rap music, dance shows and fireworks near Manila Bay.

At her own rally, Robredo thanked her supporters who jammed her star-studded sorties and waged a house-to-house battle to endorse her brand of clean and hands-on politics. She asked them to fight for patriotic ideals beyond the elections.

“We’ve learned that those who have awoken will never close their eyes again,” Robredo told a crowd that filled the main avenue in the capital’s Makati financial district. “It’s our right to have a future with dignity and it’s our responsibility to fight for it.”

In Maguindanao province, a security hot spot in the south, three village guards were killed by gunmen outside an elections center in Buluan town, briefly disrupting voting. Nine would-be voters and their companions were wounded separately Sunday night when unidentified men fired five rifle grenades in the Datu Unsay town hall, police said.

Aside from the presidency, more than 18,000 government posts are being contested, including half of the 24-member Senate, more than 300 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as provincial and local offices across the archipelago of more than 109 million Filipinos.

More than 67 million people were registered to vote, including about 1.6 million Filipinos overseas.

In the 2016 contest, Duterte emerged as the clear winner within a few hours after polls closed and his key challengers quickly conceded. The vice presidential race that year was won narrowly by Robredo over Marcos Jr., and the outcome was slower to become known.

___

Associated Press journalists Joeal Calupitan, Aaron Favila and Cecilia Forbes in Manila, Philippines, and Kiko Rosario in Bangkok contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
No end in sight for Ukraine war as Putin hails Victory Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin used a major patriotic holiday to again justify his war in Ukraine but did not declare even a limited victory or signal where the conflict was headed
11:17AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Islanders fire coach Barry Trotz after missing playoffs
The New York Islanders have fired coach Barry Trotz after missing the playoffs in his fourth season with the team
11:12AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Dictator's son far ahead in Philippine presidential vote
The son and namesake of ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has taken a commanding lead in an unofficial count in the presidential election in the deeply divided Asian democracy
11:11AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
With Marcos Jr. tipped to win, Philippines at tenuous moment
The son and namesake of ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has taken a commanding lead in an unofficial count of more than 60% of the votes in Monday’s presidential election in the deeply divided Asian democracy
10:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Batali opts for non-jury trial in sexual misconduct case
Celebrity chef Mario Batali is opting to have a judge decide his fate in his sexual misconduct trial in Boston
9:45AM ( 1 hour ago )
Fire at Wisconsin anti-abortion office investigated as arson
Vandals struck an anti-abortion group’s office in Wisconsin, apparently setting a fire after a Molotov cocktail thrown into the building failed to ignite
9:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Russia presses Ukraine assault as Putin marks Victory Day
Russian forces pushed forward in their assault on Ukraine, seeking to capture the crucial southern port city of Mariupol as Moscow celebrated its Victory Day holiday
4:14AM ( 7 hours ago )
"Everything shook": Last civilians leave Ukraine steel mill
Pale and drawn, the last civilians sheltering in the bunkers beneath the sprawling steel mill in the decimated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol arrived late Sunday night in Zaporizhzhia, the first major Ukrainian city beyond the frontline
4:14AM ( 7 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: What comes next with John Lee leading Hong Kong?
A Hong Kong committee stacked with mostly pro-Beijing members has almost unanimously picked John Lee to become the city's next leader
3:45AM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Global shares mostly fall as rate hikes, China slowdown loom
Global shares have fallen as interest rate hikes and a slowing Chinese economy weighed on investor sentiment
5:14AM ( 6 hours ago )
Asian shares mostly fall as rate hikes, China slowdown loom
Shares are lower in most Asian markets as interest rate hikes and a slowing Chinese economy weigh on investor sentiment
3:13AM ( 8 hours ago )
Philippine election narrows to Marcos, rights defender
Voters in the Philippines are choosing their next leader, senators, representatives and thousands of local office holders Monday
12:23AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections
Oz's ties to Turkey attacked in Pennsylvania's Senate race
Mehmet Oz’s rivals in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate are escalating their attacks on the celebrity heart surgeon’s connections to his parents’ native country of Turkey, raising it as a possible national security issue
10:33PM ( 2 days ago )
Man who stormed Capitol in caveman costume gets prison
A New York City judge’s son who stormed the U.S. Capitol wearing a furry “caveman” costume has been sentenced to eight months in prison
4:04PM ( 2 days ago )
It’s Chief Justice Roberts' Court, but does he still lead?
John Roberts is heading a Supreme Court in crisis
7:45AM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
No end in sight for Ukraine war as Putin hails Victory Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin used a major patriotic holiday to again justify his war in Ukraine but did not declare even a limited victory or signal where the conflict was headed
11:17AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Islanders fire coach Barry Trotz after missing playoffs
The New York Islanders have fired coach Barry Trotz after missing the playoffs in his fourth season with the team
11:12AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Russia marks WWII victory overshadowed by Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to cast Moscow’s military action in Ukraine as a forced response to Western policies and a necessary move to ward off a potential aggression
11:01AM ( 21 minutes ago )
'A Strange Loop' earns a leading 11 Tony Award nominations
“A Strange Loop,” Michael R
11:01AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Mario Batali waives jury trial in sexual misconduct case
Celebrity chef Mario Batali is opting to have a judge decide his fate in his sexual misconduct trial in Boston
10:49AM ( 32 minutes ago )