Middle East

Election season begins in the Philippines under strict anti-covid rules

An official three-month election campaign for national posts, including the President and individually elected Vice President and half of the 24-seat Senate, was launched under strict antivirus restrictions.

Covid’s curbs include shaking hands, kissing, hugging, and banning crowded crowds at election rallies. (AP)

A race to lead the Philippines with the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos has begun to replace President Rodrigo Duterte and return his clan to the once-flighted presidential residence.

Candidates made a fuss with a chaotic, colorful and fascinating attack aimed at attracting millions of voters who are more interested in personality than policy for the three-month campaign season starting Tuesday.

More than 35 years after the country’s departure from his father’s dictatorship, polls show that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is heading for a landslide victory in the May 9 elections.

Backed by a large social media campaign and a formidable alliance with eldest daughter and vice presidential candidate Sarah Zimmermann, Marcos Jr. is one of the most polarized in the Philippines and “unifies the country.” I swore that.

“This is not the time and place to discuss the history of the Philippines,” Marcos Jr. told broadcaster GMA on Saturday.

“We need to discuss and discuss what we need to do in the coming years to get people back to work so they can put their money in their pockets.”

Incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, a former rival lawyer at the disadvantage of Marcos Jr. and Duterte, is the second farthest in the voter survey.

Robledo launched a pink campaign in the town of Lupi in central Camarines Sur, “I’m brave because you’re with me,” he told supporters.

Robledo is ahead of celebrity mayor Francisco Domagoso, boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, and former police chief Panphilo Laxon.

“The overwhelming support of the president remains Marcos,” said Eurasia Group analyst Peter Manford, who beat the former senator with a “70 percent chance.”

read more:
Daughter of Duterte in the Philippines running for presidential election in May

Ultimate comeback

Marcos Jr.’s victory will be the ultimate comeback for the controversial family chased by US asylum seekers after the humiliating fall of the patriarch in 1986.

According to the former Philippine government, the dictator oversaw widespread human rights abuses to maintain control of the country and allow for his massive looting of thousands of people killed or tortured.

Opponents trying to thwart another President Marcos have petitioned the Election Commission to drive his son out of the race over a previous conviction that he did not file an income tax return.

He sought to defend his father’s rule by citing economic growth, minimizing human rights abuses during the regime.

Questions about the alleged unjust wealth of his family’s past are a source of frustration.

He eavesdropped on interviews with rivals and invitations to participate in forums and told journalists, “I’m not going back to the 35-year-old problem.”

read more:
Filipino leader Duterte retires from politics at the end of his term

Source: TRT World and distributors

https://www.trtworld.com/asia/election-season-begins-in-philippines-under-tough-anti-covid-rules-54519?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Election season begins in the Philippines under strict anti-covid rules

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