The Dictatorial Ties of ‘Bongbong,’ the Filipino President-Elect

John Ergon Golpe ’24

Contributor

There is a plethora of reasons as to why Ferdinand Marcos Jr. , the winner of the 2022 Philippine Presidential Election, is unfit to become the country’s latest leader.

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is the only son of former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. , who started their dictatorship in 1965 with his wife, Imelda. For two decades, they ruled until overthrown in 1986 during the People Power Revolution. They fled to Hawaii in exile, where Marcos Sr. would die three years later at 72.

According to Philippine public records, the Marcos administration embezzled as much as 25 billion CAD since 1965. Further, they were responsible for thousands of human rights violations, including merciless tortures and killings. To this very day, the family denies the validity of Mar- cos Sr. ’s crimes, and the Filipino government has recovered only a fraction of the embezzled wealth.

In 1981, Marcos Jr. became vice governor of Ilocos Norte, his father’s bailiwick. However, researchers at the Third World Studies Centre of the University of the Philippines Diliman revealed that he ran uncontested during 1980 while he was still a student attending the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 22.

Later, in 1983, he became governor of the province when his aunt, Elizabeth Marcos Rocha, resigned for health reasons after holding the position since 1967.

When the Marcoses returned to the Philippines in the 1990s, Marcos Jr. was once again elected- ed governor and congressman of Ilocos Norte. In 2010, he was elected as a senator. He held onto his position until 2016.

Marcos Jr. ’s credentials are also steeped in deceit. In 1978, at an address for the graduating students at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Marcos Sr. claimed that his son was not able to attend the ceremony due to his commitments as a senior at Oxford University:

“He is graduating this June… He is so busy [that] he could not stay here. He came here and stayed [for] only two days and said, ‘I better go back to Oxford, father, because we are preparing for the final exam in June. ’” The Philippine Senate website showed on Marcos Jr. ’s resume that he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics.

However, in 2015, the esteemed university itself came out to debunk the family’s lies, stating that he was only awarded with a Special Diploma in Social Studies, not a bachelor’s degree as he had claimed.

It is unfortunate that many Filipino voters don’t know the truth about their soon-to-be leader. Rodrigo Duterte left the nation in disrepair. But with the Marcos name riddled with acts of treason and selfishness, it is certain that Bongbong will cause detriment to the nation’s very foundation and welfare.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Lisa Marie David