Ferdinand Marcos Jr sworn in as Philippines leader in resurgence of notorious dynasty

·2-min read
Ferdinand Marcos Jr sworn in as Philippines leader in resurgence of notorious dynasty

Ferdinand Marcos Jr has been sworn in as the Philippines’ new leader in a remarkable comeback for the Marcos political dynasty, which was ousted in a revolt in 1986.

Mr Marcos Jr, who is nicknamed ‘Bongbong’ and is the son of the ousted dictator, will replace outgoing leader Rodrigo Duterte.

He vowed to emulate his father in his inaugural speech, while defending his family’s legacy, 36 years after an army-backed "People Power" revolt booted his father from office.

“He got it done, sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without. So will it be with his son," he said to applause from his supporters in the crowd.

"You will get no excuses from me."

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., centre (AP)
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., centre (AP)

He added: “My father built more and better roads, produced more rice than all administrations before his," and also praised his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

Sara Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing president, is also being sworn in as vice-president.

Calling for unity after his election landslide last month, Mr Marcos Jr said: “We will go further together than against each other, pushing forward not pulling each other."

He did not comment on the human rights atrocities his father was accused of, saying he would not talk about the past but the future.

The inauguration in Manila was met by protest with thousands of police officers, including snipers, deployed for security.

Former first lady Imelda Marcos (2nd L) holds hands with her son, the new Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr (AFP via Getty Images)
Former first lady Imelda Marcos (2nd L) holds hands with her son, the new Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr (AFP via Getty Images)

“Wow is this really happening?" asked Bonifacio Ilagan, a 70-year-old activist who was detained and severely tortured during the elder Marcos’s rule.

“For victims of martial law like me, this is a nightmare.”

Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989 in exile in Hawaii without admitting any wrongdoing, including accusations that he, his family and cronies amassed an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion while in office.

A Hawaii court later found him liable for human rights violations and awarded $2 billion (£1.65bn) to more than 9,000 people who filed a lawsuit against him for torture, incarceration, extrajudicial killings and disappearances.

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