MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte are the new leaders of the Philippines, a six-year-ruling alliance that has some human rights activists worried about the course of their country can take with the couple in power.
Here’s a look at the new president and vice president of the Philippines, who ran for their posts in separate races.
FERDINAND MARCOS JR.
A former provincial governor, congressman and senator, the 64-year-old son nicknamed “Bongbong” from childhood has succeeded in returning his family to the presidency 36 years after the “People Power” uprising ousted his father and him into exile for stealing billions and massive human rights violations.
His mother, Imelda Marcos, tried unsuccessfully to retake the seat of power twice after returning with her children to the Philippines from exile in the United States, where her husband died in 1989.
Marcos Jr. has defended his father’s legacy and steadfastly refuses to apologize or acknowledge the atrocities and looting during the dictatorship. Married to a lawyer, with whom he has three sons, he has steered clear of controversy, including a previous tax conviction and the Marcos family’s refusal to pay a huge estate tax. Throughout his campaign, he clung tenaciously to a rallying cry of national unity. He denies allegations that he funded a years-long social media campaign that used online trolls to smear opponents and whitewash the checkered history of the Marcos family, challenging critics to “show me one.”
Sara Duterte, 43, is the outgoing mayor of Davao City, her father’s constituency before being elected president in 2016.
A lawyer and reserve officer in the Philippine military, Duterte has built her own political career and, although she sometimes supports her father, she is considered level-headed and more pragmatic.
Duterte’s party originally wanted her to succeed him, but she chose to run for vice president.
A mother of three children, she has long been mayor of Davao, an economically vibrant city where the elder Duterte first made a political name for himself with his populist rhetoric and often bloody approach to crime, especially the widespread trafficking and use of of illegal drugs before he took over the presidency in 2016.
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