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Philippines Congress proclaims Ferdinand Marcos Jr as next president

Philippines Congress proclaims Ferdinand Marcos Jr as next president

Philippine president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr waves to supporters as he arrives for his proclamation as the country's president at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, suburban Manila on May 25, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Ted Aljibe)

MANILA: A joint session of Philippines Congress on Wednesday (May 25) declared Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the notorious late dictator, the winner of this month's election and confirmed he would become the country's next president.

The proclamation formalises the once unimaginable return to power of the country's most famous political dynasty, after a 1986 "people power" revolt drove the Marcos family into exile in Hawaii.

Marcos, 64, better known as "Bongbong", takes over on Jun 30 from Rodrigo Duterte and will serve until 2028, with the incumbent president's daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, as his vice president.

"I ask you all, pray for me, wish me well," Marcos, dressed in the traditional white Filipino barong shirt and trousers, said after the proclamation. "I want to do well for this country."

Marcos won 31.6 million or 58.77 per cent of ballots cast, with an 82 per cent turnout.

He won by a margin not seen since before his father's autocratic, 1965 to 1986 rule, an era characterised by corruption, martial law and unashamed extravagance of the first family, a narrative his campaign sought to upend.

Marcos's wife and three sons were also present in Congress, where their family has won a seat in almost every election since its return from exile in the 1990s. Also attending was 92-year-old matriarch Imelda, the influential power-broker, who received loud applause from the house as she posed for pictures.

He is almost certain to command a legislative supermajority, with sister Imee a senator, son Ferdinand a congressman and cousin Martin Romualdez, the house majority leader expected to be named speaker, demonstrating the extent of the power the family will wield.

He has said his focus areas will be energy prices, jobs, infrastructure and education.

Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr is proclaimed by Senate President Vicente Sotto (left) and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco as duly-elected president at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, suburban Manila on May 25, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Jam Sta Rosa)
Philippine former first lady Imelda Marcos is helped by her nephew legislator Martin Romualdez (left) onto the rostrum at the House of Representatives in Quezon City suburban Manila on May 25, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Ted Aljibe)
Sara Duterte (centre), daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, is proclaimed winner of the vice presidential race at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, suburban Manila on May 25, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Jam Sta Rosa)

Marcos is still assembling his Cabinet, which will need to navigate high inflation, government debt and a tricky foreign policy balance with ally the United States and an increasingly influential China.

Despite the margin of victory, Marcos' rule will be divisive, with widespread anger among opponents and victims of persecution over what they see as historical revisionism to clear the family's name.

Imee Marcos on Wednesday said the family was "very, very grateful for a second chance" in power.

Source: Reuters/ng

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