Well, it’s official. On Wednesday, the Philippine Congress proclaimed Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the 17th Philippine president, 36 years after his father and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was ousted from Malacañang Palace through the People Power Revolution after holding office for 21 years.
Congress, acting as the National Board of Canvassers, also proclaimed Marcos Jr.’s running mate, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara, vice president.
According to the official canvass of votes certified on Wednesday, Marcos received 58.77 percent of the ballots cast with 31,629,783 votes.
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo finished in second place with around 15 million votes.
Duterte also won the majority vote, receiving 32,208,417 ballots cast in her favor.
The Marcos-Duterte tandem, dubbed the UniTeam, is the first to win the top two highest seats of government in the country since former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her running mate, broadcaster Noli de Castro, both won in 2004. In the Philippines, the presidential post is elected separately from the vice presidency.
Marcos Jr.’s win brings full circle the Marcos family’s long road to redemption and return to glory after a peaceful revolt drove them out of the Malacañang Palace and forced them to flee to Hawaii, where Marcos Sr. lived until his death in 1989.
During his proclamation, Marcos Jr. said that he wanted to do well by his country.
”The most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote. And that is why, to have received over 31 million votes from our countrymen is as valuable an expression of trust as can be had by anyone in public life. And so for that I thank our people,” the president-elect said.
“Beyond that, I promise you that we may not be perfect but we will always strive [for] perfection.”
Bongbong’s sister, Senator Imee Marcos, said that their family was “very, very grateful for a second chance” as their family had “suffered for decades” after their father was removed from office.
The senator said that what was most important to the Marcos family upon her brother’s win was having an avenue to “clarify” the late dictator’s legacy.
“What’s most important to us is, of course, our name, the family name that has become so controversial, and so difficult at times to bear. The legacy of my father is what we hope will be clarified at last,” she said.
Today, the president-elect sat for a media interview with reporters from selected media outfits, namely Net 25, SMNI, and GMA-7.
GMA-7 is currently the Philippines’ largest free-to-air broadcast network after broadcast giant ABS-CBN, which previously had the widest coverage across the country but was denied a franchise renewal by the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Net 25 and SMNI are both religion-affiliated networks whose churches supported the Marcos-Duterte tandem in the elections. Just this week, Net 25, a network affiliated with the Christian sect Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ), got in hot water over the unprofessional spin seen in a segment of their primetime news show, Mata ng Agila, about VP Robredo’s daughters that one critic denounced as a “hack job” and an opinion piece masquerading as news.
The Iglesia ni Cristo leaders endorsed the Marcos-Duterte tandem for its bloc vote in the May 9 elections.
Meanwhile, SMNI is owned by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a close friend and self-styled “spiritual adviser” to President Duterte, who is wanted by the U.S. FBI on charges related to cash smuggling and sex trafficking.
President-elect Marcos Jr.’s first priority in his administration would be the economy, he reportedly said.
Marcos and Duterte are set to be inaugurated into office in June.