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The Fall and Rise of Marcos Family Power: Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

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The new era: Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. took the oath of office as the 17th President of the Philippines on June 30, 2022, at the National Museum of the Philippines.

The new era: Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. took the oath of office as the 17th President of the Philippines on June 30, 2022, at the National Museum of the Philippines.

Next Generation of Marcos Power in the Philippines

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the 17th President of the Philippines comes from contentious family background. He is the son of a dictator who was deposed after two decades in power in Southeast Asia due to corruption and human rights violations.

His family's popularity has recently risen, thanks in large part to social media. Marcos Jr. teamed up with outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara, who has won the vice presidency, aiming to benefit from her father’s continued popularity. In the Senate, Marcos was instrumental in passing legislation primarily affecting local governments.

Marcos has promised “unifying leadership” and to prioritize pandemic recovery and the economy. He has also promised to help the farm sector, decongest Manila's roads, promote renewable energy, and continue fighting a long-running communist insurgency.

While being the scion of a political heavyweight had its advantages—he was governor in their home province of Ilocos Norte in his 20s, about 440 kilometers (273 miles) north of Manila—his family's fall from power forced him to flee to the United States.

Marcos' political fortunes have been mixed since his return to the Philippines in 1991, following the death of his father. He won a congressional seat and was re-elected governor, but he lost his first attempt at the national office, a Senate race in 1995, before winning a seat in 2010.

He narrowly lost his bid for vice president in 2016 to Leni Robredo, his main rival in the recently concluded presidential race, and then unsuccessfully protested the results.

On December 30, 1965, Ferdinand Marcos is sworn in for his first term.

On December 30, 1965, Ferdinand Marcos is sworn in for his first term.

Marcos is now poised to succeed his late father, dictator Ferdinand Marcos. When he is sworn in for a six-year term in July, he will be joined by vice-presidential running mate Sara Duterte, the daughter of the departing populist head of state Rodrigo Duterte, whose tenure has been marked by reversals in democratic accountability and human rights.

Marcos is the only son of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. The former president Ferdinand Marcos had three biological children: Bongbong Marcos, Imee Marcos, and Irene Marcos.

BBM's governance style is defined by forward-thinking policies.

  • Ferdinand Marcos Jr (also known as "Bongbong Marcos" or "BBM") was a legislator who drafted landmark legislation such as the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law (R.A. 9522). With international disputes raging, this critical piece of legislation defines what constitutes the Philippine territorial sea.
  • As a proponent of renewable energy for sustainable development, BBM constructed wind farms throughout the province to ensure the energy supply of not only Ilocos Norte, but also the rest of Luzon's.
  • BBM was born on September 13, 1957, as the second child of former Philippine President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and former Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos.
Former President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines attends an armed forces full honor departure ceremony with Secretary of State George Shultz.

Former President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines attends an armed forces full honor departure ceremony with Secretary of State George Shultz.

Here is a list of government positions held by BBM over the years:

  • Senator of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016
  • Ilocos Norte Congressman, 2007-2010 (2nd District)
  • Governor of Ilocos Norte from 1998 to 2007
  • Ilocos Norte Congressman, 1992-1995 (2nd District)
  • Governor of Ilocos Norte from 1983 to 1986
  • Vice-Governor of Ilocos Norte from 1980 to 1983
  • In 1998, Marcos ran for and was re-elected Governor of Ilocos Norte. He returned to his previous position as Representative from 2007 to 2010, then as Senator for the Nacionalista Party from 2010 to 2016.
  • Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has served in both the legislative and executive branches of government since 1980, serving as a Senator (6 years), Congressman (6 years), Governor (12 years), and Vice-Governor (3 years).
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Marcos Jr. sat down with the powerful Duterte family, joined by Sara Duterte, the president's daughter who would later become his running mate.

Marcos Jr. sat down with the powerful Duterte family, joined by Sara Duterte, the president's daughter who would later become his running mate.

The Marcos-Duterte Campaign: Unity

Bongbong Marcos Jr's inauguration marked the culmination of the Marcoses' decades-long struggle to reclaim their political glory. His repeated calls for "national unity," a refrain that featured prominently during his campaign trail, before urging the crowd not to look back "in anger or nostalgia."

Marcos Sr's rule came to an end in 1986, when millions of people took to the streets, and the Marcos family, including a 28-year-old Bongbong, fled to Hawaii. The long-serving politician, who returned to the Philippines in 1991, has attempted to portray his father's presidency as a "golden period" of growth and prosperity.

Mr. Marcos Jr's popularity was boosted by an aggressive social media campaign, which proved especially appealing to voters who were too young to remember the dictatorship. Meanwhile, critics claimed that his social media campaign was riddled with misinformation and whitewashed atrocities committed during his father's rule. He has denied these charges.

His election campaign was also aided by the fact that he had Sara Duterte as his running mate, combining two political dynasties' strongholds: the Marcoses in the northern Philippines and the Duterte in southern Mindanao island.

Michel de Nostredame (better known as Nostradamus), a 16th-century astrologer, physician, and reputed seer, was said to have predicted that former Senator Bongbong Marcos would become President of the Philippines. However, we cannot be certain that this prediction was written in his book.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was sworn in as the country's 15th vice president.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was sworn in as the country's 15th vice president.

What’s Next for the Philippines?

Marcos Jr.'s presidential campaign in 2022 emphasized "unity" as a means of bringing the country out of the economic funk caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I think Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte are good choices among the other candidates based on political experience and accomplishments.

It will be an exciting opportunity, in my opinion, to continue the Duterte programs and achievements, as Bongbong Marcos promised to the former President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. There are no other presidential candidates who want to carry on the previous administration's policies, particularly the drug war.

As we can see from the official vote tally, the Marcos-Duterte ticket was very strong. We expect textbooks and the teaching of history in basic education to be revised, particularly some information about the late father of BBM being changed or not being told. Yes, it will justify the truth as well as the late father of Bongbong Marcos' successful projects and achievements in the Philippines' history.

One of the most well-known presidents made significant contributions to Philippine history during Ferdinand Marcos' presidency. Marcos unveiled plans for the country's economic development, including an aggressive infrastructure program that included a nationwide network of roads and bridges, dams and power plants, hospitals and institutions, and other infrastructure that is still in place today.

The voice of the people is becoming increasingly clear. We should hear this voice in the name of the Philippines, which I know you also love so much, because, in the end, we only have this one nation to share.

It's no surprise that Bongbong Marcos won the 2022 presidential election. At a young age, his late father taught him and encouraged him to become a politician, and his father's wish came true. Even though he did not win the vice presidency in 2016, this is a great opportunity and destiny for him to become the 17th President of the Philippines.

A young Bongbong Marcos and his late father.

A young Bongbong Marcos and his late father.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Faith Nacario

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