Editorial: Post-election consequences

·2 min read

If all 67 million Filipinos registered for the general elections headed to the voting centers and cast their votes Monday, May 9, it would mean over 61 percent of the 109,035,343 population (2020 census) chose to exercise their right to suffrage. That’s if all went to the polling precincts and endured the long lines. Filipinos’ votes were for more than 18,000 elective government posts, including the top two positions in the country—the president and vice president.

The successor of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte will be inaugurated on June 30.

Heading to the polls, dictator’s son and namesake Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has always been the frontrunner in the surveys, and his closest rival is Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

Even though President Duterte has not endorsed any presidential bet, critics have said the outgoing chief executive’s implicit choice is Marcos because the candidate’s running mate is the presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Critics have said that the Duterte administration policies, including the contentious drug war, could continue if Marcos wins the presidential race.

Foreign observers, including the media, have been interested in the Philippine general elections as the country, even though it’s not a superpower, has a role in geopolitics, specifically in the United States-China power play in the Asia-Pacific region.

The next leader could tilt the balance of geopolitical influences of US and China on the region.

The pro-China stance of President Duterte could continue under a Marcos presidency as the dicator’s son is widely seen as friendly to Beijing as he has been building rapport with the authoritarian behemoth in East Asia leading to the elections. For the US, the promoter of liberal democracy likely prefers a Robredo presidency as the vice president has voiced her stand against Chinese incursions into the Philippine waters.

Whatever the results of the elections will certainly have effects on the Philippines’ domestic affairs and international relations. These consequences could last for six years – or beyond.

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