Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. praises dictator father during inaugural address

Marcos Jr., known in the Philippines as “Bongbong,” won a landslide on May 9 on a platform of national unity and a promise of more jobs, lower prices and greater investment in agriculture and infrastructure.

But critics say his rise to power was the culmination of a decades-long effort to rebrand the Marcos family’s name and image, most recently via a supercharged social media campaign.

Marcos Jr., 64, is the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whose 21-year kleptocratic rule from 1965 to 1986 was marked by human rights abuses, widespread corruption and looting of the state treasury.

The former senator and congressman took his oath of office at the National Museum of Fine Arts in the capital Manila before Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.

In his inaugural address, Marcos Jr. that his “call to unity” resonated with the people to “deliver the largest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy.”

“This is a historic moment for all of us,” he said. “You have chosen me to be your servant, to facilitate change for the benefit of all. I fully understand the gravity of the responsibility you place on my shoulders. I don’t take it lightly, but I’m up to the task.’

Marcos Jr. thanked his mother, 92-year-old former first lady Imelda Marcos, who attended the ceremony. He also praised his father, the late dictator, in his speech.

“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence. In a country of people with the greatest potential to achieve, and yet they were poor. But he made it happen. Sometimes with the necessary support, sometimes without. It will be. It’s with his son – you won’t get an apology from me,” he said.

Marcos Jr. spoke of healing divisions in the country, promising to grow the economy, recover from the pandemic and lead a more united, prosperous country.

Dictator's Son Ready For President As Philippines Goes To The Polls

“I’m not here to talk about the past, I’m here to tell you about our future. A future of sufficiency, even many, of readily available ways and resources to get what needs to be done,” he said . “I’ll get it done.”

Activist groups planned to protest the inauguration in Manila and called for responsibility for alleged crimes committed under the Marcos Sr. dictatorship, CNN Philippines reported.

On Tuesday, Marcos Jr. a last-ditch effort to disqualify him when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against two petitions seeking to cancel his candidacy over alleged tax violations, according to CNN Philippines.
Marcos won the election with 31.6 million votes, or 58.77% of the votes cast — a margin not seen in decades — replacing outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.
His running mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of the former president, was sworn in as vice president on June 19 and will serve until 2028.

family inheritance

Members of the public gather to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Ferdinand "BongBong"  Marcos Jr.  at the old legislative building in Manila, the Philippines, on June 30.
Marcos Jr. had previously asked the world to judge him by his actions, not by his family’s past. But his election campaign was dominated by his father’s legacy, including the “rise again” slogan that tapped into the nostalgia of some who remembered the period under Marcos Sr. as a golden age for the country.
His father’s corrupt and brutal rule in the Philippines was strengthened by nearly a decade of martial law from 1972 to 1981. During that time, tens of thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured or killed for alleged or genuine criticism of the government, according to human sources. rights groups.
Who is "bongbong"  Marcos Jr.  and why are some Filipinos nervous about his family's return?

The Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), tasked with recovering the family’s ill-gotten wealth, estimates that approximately $10 billion has been stolen from the Philippine people.

The Marcos family has repeatedly denied abuses under martial law and used state funds for personal use. Campaigners say the Marcoses have never been held fully accountable and victims of martial law are still fighting for justice.

Critics of Marcos Jr. view his rise as president as a laundering of Philippine history and an attempt by the Marcos family to rewrite the abuses and corruption during his father’s dictatorship.

Outgoing Duterte

The inauguration of Marcos Jr. marks the end of a six-year term for Duterte, whose bloody legacy is linked to a national drug crackdown that police say has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people.
Duterte’s government targeted civil society and the media by denouncing tax evasion against local independent media outlets that questioned the government’s policies and claims, and arrested editors. Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa said on Tuesday the government had ordered her Rappler news organization to shut down.
The outspoken Duterte was also known for a history of derogatory comments, including misogynistic comments about women, the Catholic Church and world leaders.
The incoming Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  and outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte will participate in the inauguration ceremony for Marcos in June on the grounds of the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila

Some fear that Marcos Jr. Duterte’s path will continue and that misinformation will further obscure the truth, making it harder to hold those in power accountable.

Despite his human rights record and the Covid-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the hunger crisis in the country, Duterte remained hugely popular domestically.

Supporters expect Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio to continue Duterte’s policy on infrastructure and its controversial “war on drugs.”

CNN’s Mayumi Maruyama and Alice Barnard contributed.

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