Ferdinand Marcos Jr. celebrates his father’s legacy as Philippine President
It was a dramatic comeback for one of Asia’s most renowned political dynasties after 36 years, when Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was sworn in as president of the Philippines on Thursday afternoon.
Ferdinand Marcos’s son replaces Rodrigo Duterte, who garnered worldwide notoriety for his violent drug war and has vowed to kill suspected drug dealers when he leaves office.
The 64-year-old Marcos Jr., also known as “Bongbong,” won the past month’s elections by a landslide, achieving the greatest triumph since his father was deposed in 1986 by a popular insurrection.
Hundreds of dignitaries, including Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, witnessed Marcos Jr. take the oath of office in a public ceremony at the National Museum in Manila.
“The greatest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy” is what Marcos Jr promised the Filipino people in a speech that repeated his campaign rhetoric of togetherness.
As he was inaugurated in front of his family, he told them, “You will not be disappointed, so do not be scared.”
As Marcos Jr. put it, “This is a historic time for us all.” Voters have “rejected the politics of division by your vote.”
In a spirited 30-minute speech, Marcos Jr also hailed his late father’s reign, which many have described as a dark period of human rights abuses and corruption. His sister Imee, a senator, and mother Imelda, a former congressman, sat nearby.
From 1965 until his defeat and the exile of his family in a “people power” revolution, Ferdinand Marcos the elder reigned for two decades, nearly half of which was under martial law.
It became synonymous with cronyism, extravagance and billions of dollars of missing state riches during his reign, which saw thousands of his opponents imprisoned or assassinated. The Marcos family denies any wrongdoing.