By Brendan S.
Election polls have closed in the Philippines with son of right-wing dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong Marcos, leading by a wide margin in the polls. He is expected to declare victory soon.
The Marcos family holds the Guinness World Record for greatest theft from a state, having stolen $5-10 billion USD directly from the Central Bank of the Philippines. Bongbong has carried on this legacy by evading taxes, owing roughly $4 billion in taxes to the Philippines. With familial concentration of capital likely exceeding $10 billion not including assets, Bongbong is a plutocrat representing .00001% of the country, seconded only by a single Filipino family with more capital (Sy family).
The legacy of Bongbong’s father is marred by brutal repression of queers, Muslims, indigenous people, labor organizers, and progressives, accompanied by rampant corruption. After 20 years of US-backed police state rule, Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown in the 1986 People Power Revolution.
Bongbong has persistently denied his father’s crimes as well as his own, frequently using the term “fake news.” A populist orator, Bongbong has clearly taken some narrative blueprints from the Trump administration. Though he enjoys sweeping support from the Philippine oligarchy, widespread vote buying and voter intimidation have been confirmed practices of his campaign, sparking debate on the credibility of the election. Bongbong’s running mate is President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara, the two families forging an unprecedented pact of state nepotism. The son of a reactionary autocrat alongside the daughter of a reactionary autocrat.
The New People’s Army and other vehicles of self-defense in the Philippines will have a renewed responsibility to defend marginalized populations under the Bongbong administration. Unfortunately little will change under this government and the state of the Philippines will remain heavily militarized, with the oligarchy placed at the forefront of the agenda.