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Marcos Jr. visits father's grave as tally takes him closer to Palace

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Marcos Jr. visits father's grave as tally takes him closer to Palace
This photo released by the Marcos campaign shows presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. visiting his father's grave at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig on May 10, 2022.
Released photo

MANILA, Philippines — A day after the polls where unofficial tally showed him heading for a landslide victory, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the presumptive president-elect, on Tuesday visited his father's grave in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, where the remains were buried in 2016 despite massive protests.

His campaign team said in a short statement on Wednesday that the younger Marcos visited Marcos Sr's grave on May 10, when it showed "him winning by more than 16 million votes."

"The young Marcos is grateful to the Filipino people for giving him the landslide victory and to his father who have been his inspiration throughout his life and taught him the value of true leadership," they said.

His team has not given additional details, but photos released showed him putting a bouquet and sitting in front of the late dictator's grave. It is unclear whether Marcos Jr. was with his family during the visit.

The campaign team of Marcos has generally been evasive from members of the media. When the presidential bet gave a short speech on Monday night, as voting data came in, reporters staying at the headquarters were told not to ask questions afterward.

A Marcos back at Malacañan

Thirty-six years after the ouster of the dictator Marcos, an unofficial tally showed that the Philippines voted his only son and namesake Bongbong to Malacañan in a historic majority vote.

The burial of the late strongman's remains at the heroes’ cemetery was among President Rodrigo Duterte's first acts as he made good on a campaign promise and asserted that this would bring healing to the nation.

The order was met with strong protests and challenged before the Supreme Court, where victims of the brutal Martial Law regime pleaded against allowing the dictator's remains to be buried with the country’s heroes. The Supreme Court ruled that Duterte had the authority to order the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Days after the high court handed down the decision, the remains were buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in an unannounced ceremony that was closed to the public by ranks of military personnel.

Father as inspiration, template

Marcos Jr., who has earned more than 30 million votes based on partial tallies so far, has not hidden his admiration for his father. In his speeches and few interviews, he would often refer to his father’s programs during his term and how he would study them again and revive it.

What is missing in these, however, are the atrocities and the huge economic debt that the Marcos regime left: Thousands killed, tortured and disappeared, siphoned public funds and a Philippines reeling from a ruined economy.

The Marcos family has refused to apologize for their patriarch’s offenses and said they would much focus on what they can give to the country that talk about what happened 36 years ago. Marcos, who presents himself as a unifying leader, said he hopes to win over Martial Law victims with his sincerity and good programs.

In a statement Wednesday, Marcos spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said: "Bongbong looks forward to working across the Philippines, and with international partners and organisations, to address critical issues facing the country, and to begin delivering for the Filipino people."

"To the world, he says: Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions."

2022 ELECTIONS

BONGBONG MARCOS

FERDINAND MARCOS

LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI

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