Marcos thanks supporters after landslide presidential election victory
Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the Philippines dictator deposed in a 1986 popular uprising, thanked his supporters on Monday after winning the presidential election by a huge margin, according to unofficial results, marking a stunning comeback for the country's most famous political dynasty.
An unofficial tally showed Marcos, popularly known as "Bongbong", had surpassed the 27.5 million votes needed for a majority, setting the stage for a once-unthinkable return to power of the Marcos family, 36 years after its humiliating retreat into exile during a "people power" uprising.
Marcos trounced bitter rival Leni Robredo to become the first candidate in recent history to win a Philippines presidential election majority.
"Even if the voting is not yet done, my gratitude cannot wait. I extend my thanks to everyone. To all who helped out, to all who joined our cause, to your sacrifices, to your hard work, to your time, your abilities, your eagerness,” he said in a video message on his official Facebook page.
But Filipinos express mixed feelings about the election outcome.
While some voters in Manila were happy with the outcome, others like 22-year-old Lila Victoria Mortel expressed their concerns.
"My grandfather was held at gunpoint just for wanting to go to a clinic at night. So hearing that, with you know, like other country's elections, it's terrifying," she said
Around 400 Filipinos staged a protest outside the Philippine Elections Commission in Manila
Demonstrators, mostly students, chanted slogans and waved Philippine national flags in protest against Marcos, citing election irregularities.
The elections commission, which said the poll was relatively peaceful, is due on Tuesday to rule on petitions seeking to overturn its dismissal of complaints trying to bar Marcos from the presidential race.
The 64-year-old's runaway victory now looks certain with 96 per cent of the eligible ballots counted in an unofficial tally, showing he has more than 30 million votes, double that of Robredo.
The official result is expected around the end of the month.