Son of the dictator, rights lawyer contends for Philippine presidency |  Health, Medicine and Fitness

Son of the dictator, rights lawyer contends for Philippine presidency | Health, Medicine and Fitness

AP

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – More than three decades after a largely peaceful “People’s Power” uprising overthrew Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his son and namesake emerged as the main contender in Monday’s presidential election based on the most polls on voter preferences.

Here are some key facts about key issues, key candidates, and election concerns:

If Ferdinand Marcos Jr. triumphs, it will be an extraordinary reversal of the pro-democracy uprising of 1986 that took his father out of office into global infamy. Many Filipinos remember the atrocities and looting of human rights that took place under his dictatorship and would likely have opposed any perceived threats to democracy or Marcos Jr.’s attempt to recover his family’s assets that were seized by the government. as illicit wealth.

The winner will inherit immense problems, including an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic, deeper poverty and unemployment, hyperinflation due to skyrocketing oil and gas prices, decades-old insurrections and inflamed political divisions. Even outgoing populist leader Rodrigo Duterte’s successor likely faces demands to prosecute him for his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of mostly poor suspects and alarmed the international community. The International Criminal Court has investigated the killings as a possible crime against humanity.

Former provincial governor, congressman and senator, the late dictator’s 64-year-old son is leading the Marcos family’s most impressive attempt to regain the presidency. Her mother, Imelda Marcos, has twice unsuccessfully attempted to retake the seat of power after returning with her children to the Philippines from exile in the United States, where her husband died in 1989.

Marcos Jr. defended his father’s legacy and steadfastly refuses to apologize and acknowledge the atrocities and looting during the dictatorship. Married to a lawyer, with whom he has three children, he has stayed away from controversies, including a past tax conviction and the Marcos family’s refusal to pay a huge inheritance tax. Throughout his campaign, he has stubbornly attached himself to the battle cry of national unity. He denies allegations that he funded a years-long social media campaign that exploited online trolls to vilify opponents and hide the Marcos family’s checkered history, challenging critics to “show me one.”

As an economics student at Philippine State University in the 1980s, Leni Robredo joined the massive protests that led to the ouster of Elder Marcos. The 57-year-old also studied law and successfully ran for the House of Representatives in 2013 in her first foray into politics after her husband, a respected politician, died in a plane crash in 2012. She defeated Marcos Jr. in the race for vice presidency of 2016 by a narrow margin in their first electoral confrontation. Her advocacy is centered on defending human rights and empowering the poor, in part by teaching them their legal rights.

The daughter of a court judge, Robredo does not belong to any of the prominent families that have dominated Filipino politics for generations, and functions as an independent organization backed by a network of campaign volunteers. As the opposition vice-president, who was elected separately by Duterte, she condemned the killing of mostly poor drug suspects as part of her crackdown on her, angering the cheeky leader and straining theirs. bonds for years. The mother of three was cited for her integrity and a lifestyle that shies away from the traps of power: she used to regularly travel alone by bus to her home province as an MP.

Eight other presidential hopefuls fell far behind in pre-election polls, including Manny Pacquiao, the 43-year-old former boxing star, who vowed to build homes for the poor and lock corrupt politicians in a “mega prison” . Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, a 47-year-old former TV heartthrob, pointed to his life story from rags to power and public awe of his massive cleanup of the capital. Senator Panfilo Lacson, 73, a former national police chief, has vowed to continue to use his investigative skills to expose the government’s major corruption.

In addition to the presidency, more than 18,000 government posts will be contested in the elections, including half of the 24 Senate members, 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. Some 67 million registered to vote during the 13-hour voting session starting at 6am, an hour longer than in the 2019 mid-term elections to compensate for slower queues due to social distancing and other safeguards of the coronavirus.

Thousands of police and military have been deployed due to the long-standing risks posed by communist and Muslim rebels and a history of often bloody political and family rivalries in rural areas. In 2009, gunmen deployed by the family of the then governor of the southern province of Maguindanao massacred 58 people, including 32 journalists, in an attack on an electoral convoy that shocked the world.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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