Members of Filipino community in Australia protest Bongbong Marcos’ secret Melbourne visit

Members of Filipino community protest Bongbong Marcos’ presence in Melbourne Australia. Images: Anakbayan Melbourne
Members of Filipino community protest Bongbong Marcos’ presence in Melbourne Australia. Images: Anakbayan Melbourne

Presumptive President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, who emerged victorious in last week’s presidential election, reportedly took a secret trip to Australia and is currently in Melbourne. Despite no official announcement of the trip being made by Marcos, he was still met by protestors from the overseas Filipino community who made clear that they did not welcome his presence down under.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the election front-runner’s low-key visit to Melbourne, where his youngest son Vincent is said to be enrolling in the University of Melbourne.

The Herald also reported that while Marcos’ camp stayed mum on the matter, an Australian government spokesperson confirmed that a Philippine government representative had informed them of Marcos Jr.’s visit.

Members of the progressive group Anakbayan Melbourne gathered outside an apartment complex where Marcos Jr. was said to be staying, bringing signs that read “Reject Marcos-Duterte,” “Never Again to Fascism and Tyranny,” and “Tax Evaders Not Welcome Here,” referring to the Marcos family’s unpaid estate tax liabilities that reached PHP203 billion (US$3.87 billion) as of 2021.

Although the results have not yet been certified, last week’s election saw Marcos Jr. leading the polls with 31.1 million votes, or nearly 60 percent of the vote, followed by Vice President Leni Robredo, who earned 14.8 million votes. His victory brings the Marcos family’s long journey back to Malacañang full circle after the ouster of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr, during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

UPDATE: Vic Rodriguez, Marcos Jr.’s spokesman, confirmed that the presumptive President-elect is with his family in Australia “for much-needed rest and vacation.”

Rappler also reported that Rodriguez commented on the picket that gathered outside the complex where Marcos Jr. was staying, saying in Filipino, “It is shameful, it is not in our nature to shame our fellow Filipino abroad. It is the government who should decide if a visitor is welcome, not a fellow Filipino who showed up simply because he has an axe to grind.”

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