Manila, May 26 (BNA) – A joint session of Congress announced today, Wednesday, the election of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the new president of the Philippines, after a landslide victory in the elections, 36 years after toppling his dictator father in a pro-democracy uprising.
The Senate and House of Representatives also announced that Vice President Sarah Duterte had won by a large margin. She is the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, whose six-year term ends on June 30.
They will lead a country reeling from COVID-19 lockdowns, crushing poverty, the inequality gap, Islamist and communist insurgencies, crime and political divisions that ignited the May 9 election, the Associated Press reports.
With his mother, 92-year-old Imelda Marcos, and his wife, family, and siblings by his side, the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives raised the hands of Marcos Jr. in a public hall decorated with a huge Philippine flag to an applause from the audience. The audience, which included diplomats.
“I am humbled,” he later told reporters. “I thank our employees, and then, I promise we may not be perfect but we will always strive for perfection.”
“I ask you all to pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when the president does well, the country does well,” he said, without answering any questions.
Marcus Jr., 64, a former governor, congressman and senator, refused to acknowledge or apologize for the massive human rights abuses and pillage under his father and defended his legacy.
When they take office, Marcos Jr. and Sarah Duterte will likely face demands to prosecute her father for the thousands of murders of the most impoverished suspects in his years-long crackdown on illegal drugs. The deaths are currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court.
Marcos Jr. garnered more than 31 million votes and Sarah Duterte more than 32 million votes out of more than 55 million votes cast in the election. It was the first majoritarian majority victory in Asian democracy in decades.
During the campaign, they avoided contentious issues and focused on calling for national unity, even though their fathers’ presidencies opened up some of the most turbulent divisions in the country’s history. He pleaded with Marcus Jr. to be judged “not by my grandparents, but by my actions.”
His sister, Senator Amy Marcus, thanked those who voted for him after what she called decades of “cynicism and oppression”.
“We are very grateful to have a second chance,” she told reporters before the announcement. “Our family has been through a lot and after 1986 we have faced all kinds of issues, ridicule and oppression” for nearly four decades.
At Marcos Jr’s campaign headquarters, supporters waved Philippine flags, flashed a victory sign and carried a ribbon to congratulate him and Sarah Duterte.