May 23, 2022

Philippines’ Marcos Hails ‘Genius’ Father as Presidential Election Nears

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippines presidential frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr heaped praise on the country’s ousted former first family in an interview on Tuesday, calling his father and late dictator a “political genius” and mother Imelda, the Marcos dynasty’s “supreme politician”.

Marcos Jr is the clear favourite for the May 9 election, where victory would cap off a three-decade political fightback for a family driven from power in a 1986 uprising against its notorious 20-year rule.

The 64-year-old former senator and congressman told CNN Philippines he would not let his commanding lead in opinion polls distract him from work needed to be done to ensure victory.

“I am not confident that I’m going to be president yet, because I do not allow myself to be confident,” said Marcos, who was 32 points ahead of nearest rival, incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, in the most recent survey.

“It doesn’t matter to me what numbers you show me, we’re not there yet. So we don’t stop, we will keep going.”

Despite being driven into exile in the “people power” revolution, the Marcos family remains one of the wealthiest and most influential in Philippine politics.
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His campaign has been helped by what political analysts say has been a decades-long public relations effort to alter perception of the Marcoses, who were accused of living lavishly at the helm of one of Asia’s most notorious kleptocracies.

The family’s rivals say the presidential run is an attempt to rewrite history, and change a narrative of corruption and authoritarianism.

Marcos in the interview acknowledged his privileged life but said his parents reminded him and his siblings that “everything we have, all the advantages that we have gained, any successes that we have achieved, and any comfort or privilege that we enjoy comes from the people. And that is why you have to serve.”