Philippine election: victory for ‘second generation president’

  Marcos, son of former President Marcos, and Sara, daughter of current President Duterte, both won a majority of the votes in the May 9 Philippine general election.
  According to preliminary statistics released by Philippine media on the 10th, as the candidate of the Federalist Party of the Philippines, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos (Little Marcos) won the presidential election. The official election results still need to be confirmed by the Election Commission.
  The 65-year-old Marcos won the election this time, not only inherited his father’s business, but also completed the unfinished business of his mother Imelda. Imelda ran unsuccessfully for president in 1992 and 1998. Marcos Jr. ran for vice president in 2016 and ran for president in 2022, continuing the Marcos family’s dream.
  Although his father Marcos bears the infamy of “dictator”, Marcos did not shy away from his family background in the campaign, but actively used it. He described his father as a political genius and his mother as a supreme politician, and used “Rise Again” as his campaign idea to bring the Philippines back to the “golden age”, which is regarded as an intention to inherit the family, especially his father’s political legacy .
  It not only cuts itself off from the Philippine political liberal elite, but also makes full use of social media to engage in various “down-to-earth” interactions with people from different industries and groups. Marcos’ victory in this election actually means that celebrity politics and family politics are becoming more and more important. The Philippines still dominates.
  As the “second generation of presidents”, the victory of Marcos and Sarah is also regarded as a major victory for the current President Duterte. Although the complex relationship of “competition and cooperation” between the two families will not end there, Duterte’s influence will certainly continue to a certain extent.

On May 9, “Little Marcos” voted at a polling station in Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Figure/Visual China

  For China-Philippines relations, many policies and achievements of Duterte’s six-year ruling cycle will also be continued and are expected to be upgraded. During Duterte’s administration, he vigorously promoted infrastructure construction and made a lot of progress. There are many cases of successful integration with China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. During the campaign, Marcos said that the new government will continue to continue and upgrade the infrastructure plan, and is very willing to develop economic and trade exchanges with China, emphasizing the value of strong economic cooperation with China, and shaping a more dynamic and comprehensive China-Philippines relationship.
  Because of historical origins, the Marcos family has maintained a very close interaction with China for a long time. In 1974, “First Lady” Imelda visited China as the special envoy of President Marcos. At that time, Imelda was very personable and caused a whirlwind in mainland China. The following year, Imelda visited China again. This year, China and the Philippines established diplomatic relations. Decades later, Imelda has repeatedly mentioned her trip to China and her friendship with China on many occasions.
  On October 19, 2021, Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, met with Marcos at the embassy. The two sides jointly cut the ribbon for the unveiling ceremony of the new “China-Philippines High-Level Exchange Photo Wall” set up by the Chinese embassy in the Philippines. Marcos said that the Marcos family is willing to continue to support the friendly cooperation between the Philippines and China, enhance the mutual understanding and feelings between the two peoples, and help the Philippine-China relations develop steadily.
  During the election campaign, Marcos also expressed his position on China-Philippines relations many times. In February 2022, Marcos pledged that his foreign policy would serve the interests of the Filipinos and the nation. On the South China Sea issue, which mainly affects China-Philippines relations, Marcos argued that the South China Sea issue is not the whole of the relationship between the Philippines and China, let alone the outcome of the South China Sea arbitration as a precondition for dialogue. He believed that the arbitration was invalid because China chose not to participate in the proceedings, and the actual effect of the arbitration was to widen the differences between the Philippines and China and strengthen the positions of both sides. Marcos also said many times that if the situation between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea escalates, they will not seek help from the United States, but prefer to seek polygonal and diplomatic solutions such as ASEAN member states and the United Nations, and insist on continuing bilateral talks with China. .
  However, in terms of military cooperation with the United States, Marcos has also repeatedly stated that he will not terminate the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. It can be seen that he is very aware of the special significance of the long-standing special relationship between the Philippines and the United States to the Philippines.
  In dealing with geopolitical issues, Marcos showed a pragmatic and cautious attitude. He believes that the Philippines is in a delicate relationship that can maintain a special relationship with the United States and a good relationship with China. And if China and the US “sneezed” at the same time, the Philippines would “disappear from the map”.