MANILA, Philippines – Presumptive Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. visited the grave of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on Wednesday, May 11, two days after election day where partial unofficial results show him with an insurmountable lead.
In photos released by his team Wednesday, Marcos Jr. put a bouquet in red wrappings on top of the grave. It was not clear whether Marcos Jr. was with family during the visit. Evasive of the press, Marcos Jr. only spoke on May 9 to say his thanks when the quick count saw his numbers pull away. Media was not allowed to ask questions.
The Marcos camp says the presumptive president “is grateful to the Filipino people for giving him the landslide victory and to his father who [has] been his inspiration throughout his life and taught him the value and meaning [of] true leadership.”
After the presumptive win of the media-averse Marcos Jr., investors sold off media stocks, in particular the Manila Broadcasting Company, ABS-CBN, and GMA.
Traders also speculated that Marcos-linked companies would benefit, leading to a buying spree of shares of Araneta Properties and PhilWeb— whose owner is Greggy Araneta. Martin Romualdez’ Prime Media Holdings also saw a huge jump in stock prices.
“Bongbong looks forward to working across the Philippines, and with international partners and organizations, to address critical issues facing the country, and to begin delivering for the Filipino people,” Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said in the statement.
As of noon on Wednesday, partial unofficial results show Marcos with 31,079,095 votes versus his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo who has 14,809,891 votes. This is with 98.26% of votes transmitted to mirror servers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
‘Judge me not by my ancestors’
The late dictator was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) on November 2016, some 27 years after he died in exile in Hawaii. The heroes’ burial was a campaign promise by President Rodrigo Duterte that he put in motion immediately after assuming the presidency.
Contested by martial law victims, the Supreme Court sanctioned the heroes’ burial in a 9-5 vote, a decision that is a case study for the legal profession about the High Court choosing to be passive.
Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986 by a peaceful people power revolution that was driven by discontent of both the people and the armed forces over widespread corruption, human rights abuses and poverty.
Marcos Jr. has consistently called the account of his father’s military rule as propaganda, and successfully revised this bloody past through a deeply-entrenched disinformation network.
But in the statement sent through Rodriguez Wednesday, Marcos said: “Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions.”
A few hundred supporters had trooped to the Marcos headquarters in Mandaluyong on the evening of May 9 when the win was apparent, heckling journalists and proclaiming the martial law rule as the Philippines’ golden era.
Journalists had been staking out at their Mandaluyong headquarters since May 9 waiting for an opportunity to ask the presumptive president questions.
Supporters of Robredo had been holding pocket gatherings in different places nationwide, with some calling attention to alleged irregularities on voting day like malfunctioning vote counting machines. University student councils, meanwhile, had called for walkouts.
“To those who voted for Bongbong, and those who did not, it is his promise to be a President for all Filipinos. To seek common ground across political divides, and to work together to unite the nation,” said Rodriguez.
Robredo has not conceded yet as of Wednesday noon, but she addressed the nation on Monday saying Filipinos “must listen to the voice of the people.” Robredo ended Wednesday’s address by saying “tinatawag ko kayong samahan ko kayo dito, at sa iba pang mga laban (I am calling you to join me here, and in different fights).”
Rodriguez said: “This is a victory for all Filipinos, and for democracy.” – Rappler.com