When talking about the Philippine political arena, one cannot fail to mention the political family. Of the 16 presidents of the Philippines after independence, 14 came from prominent families. Therefore, the current Senator Ferdinand Marcos (hereinafter referred to as Little Marcos) and Davao Mayor Sarah Duterte (hereinafter referred to as Sarah) announced their partnership for the president and vice president, which immediately became the focus of media attention. Marcos Jr. is the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos (hereinafter referred to as Marcos) who has been in power for 21 years, and Sarah is the daughter of current President Rodrigo Duterte (hereinafter referred to as Duterte). The two families have stable “vote warehouses” in the northern and southern parts of the Philippines, and the two are also leading in the polls.
“Unity Team” twists and turns
On November 21st, Marcos and Sarah together unveiled their campaign headquarters. The combination of the two is called the “Unity Team”.
Looking back at the success of the “Unity Team”, it can be said that there have been twists and turns. According to the Philippine Constitution, the presidential term is 6 years without re-election. On September 8, the Democratic People’s Forces Party, ruling the Philippines, announced the nomination of Senator Christopher Wu as the party’s presidential candidate and Duterte as the vice presidential candidate. On October 2, Duterte announced that he would withdraw from the nomination of the vice president and withdraw from politics after the end of his administration. On October 8th, Wu submitted the document for running for the vice president. At this time, people believed that Sarah, who was the number one in the poll, would run for the president and vice president with Wu’s partner. Duterte also expressed his hope to see “Shah and Wu match.”
But Sarah stayed still. On November 11, she announced that she had joined the Christian-Muslim Democratic Forces Party, and on the 13th, she submitted a certificate of eligibility for the party to stand for the vice president. Later, the young Marcos, who was running for the president on behalf of the Federal Party, said that he would partner with Sarah. Duterte accompanied Wu to change his campaign registration to the presidential election. On the 15th, the last day of registration for election, Duterte registered for election as a senator, ending the possibility that he once imagined that he would partner with Wu and compete with his daughter. His spokesperson said that day, Duterte and his daughter “will not fight for any position.”
Public opinion is very optimistic about the election of Sarah and Duterte. On November 16, a London think tank stated that based on Duterte’s high popularity, he and Sarah are likely to win the Senate and Vice President positions. Although Duterte did not expressly dissatisfied his daughter, he criticized little Marcos. On November 19, Duterte stated: “A presidential candidate, also the son of a late dictator (referring to little Marcos), is a spoiled and weak leader.” The Presidential Palace of the Philippines emphasized. , “In political activities such as elections, it is normal to support different candidates.”
But Sarah seemed confident in little Marcos. She said that the reason for joining with the little Marcos is that he has long served as the governor of Ilocos Norte, a member of the House of Representatives and a senator, and he has a wealth of governing experience. “This will help him become the President of the Philippines.” Speaking of her final decision to run for the vice president, Sarah said: “In life, we often find ourselves as leaders. But sometimes, we need to unite behind another leader.” She also called on supporters to do so. “Protect Little Marcos.”
Although there are twists and turns, the outside world still regards the “Martha Pei” as a sign of the political alliance between the Marcos family and the Duterte family. Some observers believe that if he is elected, Marcos is likely to inherit Duterte’s current policy, strictly crack down on drugs and separatist forces internally, and follow the principle of pragmatism externally.
From young governor to exile
Earlier, there was public opinion that if the young Marcos were to partner with Sarah as the vice presidential candidate, the odds of victory might be higher, but the young Marcos rejected the role of vice president. He has always regarded being president as his life goal.
Unlike his father, who was a soldier and had a cold style, little Marcos has a very friendly baby face. He grew up in the president’s house and was loved by his family since he was a child. In 1965, the 8-year-old little Marcos “starred in his true colors” in a movie about his father, said in a naive voice: “When I grow up, I want to be a politician and serve my country. I will give The children have many toys to make them no longer cry.”
Left: Philippine President Duterte. Right: Duterte’s daughter Sarah.
In 1975, Marcos named a missile developed by the Philippines after his son’s middle name “Bangbang”. That year, little Marcos entered Oxford University to study philosophy. He joined a bar band and became a fan of the Beatles. However, he did not receive a degree in the end. In 1978, Oxford University gave him a “special certificate” in social studies. More than 30 years later, he explained the matter, saying that he always felt very hard when taking philosophy classes, so he didn’t finish it. As for the “special certificate”, he said that although it is different from a formal academic qualification, it is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. He later studied for an MBA in the United States, but did not get a degree either.
As the eldest son of the president, the fact that little Marcos did not receive a degree did not affect his development after returning to China. In 1981, he became deputy governor of Ilocos Norte province, and became governor two years later. In 1985, he was appointed by his father as chairman of the Philippine Communications Satellite Company, with a monthly salary of nearly US$100,000.
But the little Marcos, who had a smooth journey, soon ushered in the first turning point in his life. On February 15, 1986, the “People’s Power” revolution led by Mrs. Aquino broke out, and the two factions within the Philippine army that supported and opposed Marcos also faced each other tit-for-tat. The United States, which had always supported Marcos, feared that the Philippine political instability would threaten its interests in Southeast Asia, and eventually arranged the Marcos family to go into exile in Hawaii. In 1989, Marcos died of kidney disease in Hawaii, and the only one who stayed in front of the sickbed during his death was the little Marcos.
The key to success or failure depends on the family
Although the Marcos family was in exile, the family turf was not lost. In 1991, Jr. Marcos returned to the Philippines and was elected to the House of Representatives of Ilocos Norte in the following year. He became governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998. He was re-elected to Congress in 2007 and Senate in 2010. In 2015, the Philippine Constitution Association awarded Little Marcos the title of “Great Defender of the Philippine Constitution”. At the commendation ceremony, little Marcos said half-jokingly that as the son of Marcos, he became the defender of the constitution formulated by Mrs. Aquino who overthrew Marcos. “If my father saw all this in the sky, he would scratch his head and ask:’How could this be?'”
Little Marcos, who has been in politics for many years, naturally understands that the most important thing in Philippine politics is family strength. Therefore, he was firm in defending his father’s political legacy, constantly emphasizing that during his father’s administration, the Philippines achieved agricultural self-sufficiency, had the highest literacy rate in Asia, and its infrastructure has also been developed by leaps and bounds. He never shy away from saying that his father’s influence is one of the main reasons for his political career. He said that he had been exposed to different theories and concepts in his early years, but he finally chose his father’s way of thinking.
In 2015, Jr. Marcos announced that he was running for the vice president as an independent candidate, and his running partner was Miriam Santi Jacob. According to Philippine law, the president and the vice president run separately, and they can come from different camps, but their cooperation still surprised many Filipinos. In 1983, Santi Jacob was known as the youngest judge in Manila for publicly opposing the martial law of then President Marcos. During the interview, she also admitted that her cooperation with little Marcos crossed the political camp.
Little Marcos is in the race.
During the campaign, little Marcos was asked about family corruption. At that time, he said: “Those things that happened in 1986 have long been concluded. I am not a historical analyst, but a public servant. What I care about is what the people want to see from the public servant. (The hope of the people) It’s simple: have leadership, plans, projects, and policies that can improve their lives.” At that time, he focused his energy on winning young voters, and proposed a series of tax cuts, new energy development, and public transportation construction. The policy and the use of social networks have won the support of many college students. However, in the end Santi Jacob lost to Duterte and Marcos lost to Robredo. At that time, little Marcos also raised objections to this result. In 2018, Duterte said when talking about the controversy that if the young Marcos wins the controversy, he will cede the presidency to him because he “has sufficient qualifications to manage this country.”
For little Marcos, that campaign was just a preview of his future presidential campaign. By participating in the general election, he established a reputation for being close to the people and pragmatic among some voters. Many voters who miss his father’s political style also regard him as an ideal leader. But at that time he emphasized that he would not run for president without any chance of winning. “It’s not the time (I run for president),” said Marcos Jr.
By 2021, little Marcos thinks the time has come. He did not choose to represent the Philippine National Party, which was led by his father, but was elected as the presidential candidate of the Federal Party, which was just established in 2018. “Manila Express” stated that the little Marcos did this because the KMT was controlled by the Villar family, and this family would not choose little Marcos as a candidate. And the little Marcos chose to form an alliance with Sarah. The two families have strong strengths in the northern and southern parts of the Philippines, and they have formed complementary advantages. If she can win the election, for the little Marcos, it is the realization of the Marcos family’s long-cherished wish for a full return to the Philippine political arena. For Sarah, being the vice president can also enable her to enter the center of power in the Philippines for her next participation. The election of the president lays the foundation.
Although the Marcos family and the Duterte family have been in contact, Duterte’s father Vicente was still working in the cabinet when Marcos was in power, but the grievances are complicated. According to Parreño, author of Duterte’s biography “Beyond Will and Power,” Duterte was dissatisfied with the Marcos family because Vicente helped Marcos win Davao’s victory in the 1965 presidential election. . But when Vicente ran for the House of Representatives in 1969, Marcos supported Vicente’s opponent. Vicente died three months after his defeat. This incident hurt the young Duterte so much that he even locked himself in the room and cried alone. During the 2016 general election, Duterte initially sought support from Marcos’s sister, Yimei, but was rejected. However, as Duterte’s support rate rose during the general election, the United States and the United States suddenly took the initiative to invite Duterte to North Ilocos Province to conduct election activities. In order to gain the support of the Marcos family, Duterte promised that if he wins, he will bury the body of Marcos who died in a foreign land in the National Cemetery of Heroes. Later, he did fulfill this promise and returned the favor of the Marcos family. Although the next generation of the family has joined forces, the protagonist is not his daughter Sarah, whom he regards as the heir to the political mantle. It remains to be seen how the future elections will develop. And how smoothly Marcos’s president goes depends on the changes in the contrast of various forces.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
was born in 1957, the son of Ferdinand Marcos, the former President of the Philippines. He was former governor of Ilocos Norte Province and was elected as a senator in 2010. He failed to run for the vice president in 2016 and was elected president in 2021. The candidate for vice president with her partner is Sarah, the daughter of Philippine President Duterte.