MANILA: Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos became the 17th president of the Philippines on Wednesday when a joint session of Congress declared him winner of a May 9 election, succeeding Rodrigo Duterte who steps down next month.
The son and namesake of the late Philippine dictator, Marcos, 64, campaigned on the issue of national unity and portrayed himself as the candidate for change, promising happiness to the 110 million population weary of years of political polarization and pandemic hardship.
He won over 31.6 million votes, or 58.8 percent of the total, according to a final tally released by the parliament. The score is more than double that of his closest rival, the outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo.
“I proclaim Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos. Jr. as the duly elected president of the Republic of the Philippines and Sara Zimmerman Duterte[-Carpio] as the duly elected vice president of the Republic of the Philippines,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said in a joint session of Congress.
Duterte-Carpio, 43, who is serving as Davao City mayor and is the daughter of the incumbent president, was Marcos’ running mate. To become vice president, she beat Senator Francis Pangilinan, who ran in support of Robredo, with more than triple the votes.
Wednesday’s proclamation was the fastest in the country’s history, as it took “just more than two weeks after the May 9, 2022 elections,” Senate majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said.
“What we have witnessed in the last national and local elections was one of the most credible, orderly, and peaceful in our election’s history.”
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio will be inaugurated on June 30, when the six-year terms of the incumbent president and vice president come to an end.
For the past 30 years, Marcos has been trying to rehabilitate the name of his family. His late father ruled the Philippines with an iron fist for two decades, an era marred by widespread corruption and human rights abuses, and was removed from office in a popular uprising in 1986.
In the decades since his ouster, outrage over his rule has faded for many Filipinos, and his time in power has been portrayed by followers as an age of prosperity — a narrative his son has been sustaining.