30th June, 2022
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was sworn in Thursday as Philippine president, 36 years after his father, who shared the same name was ousted by the military.
Marcos Jr. rise to power upends politics in the Asian democracy, where a public holiday, monuments and the Philippine Constitution stand as reminders of the end of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s tyrannical rule.
But in his inaugural speech, Marcos Jr. defended the legacy of his late father, who he said accomplished many things that were not done since the country’s independence, adding he would emulate him.
“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.”
“My father built more and better roads, produced more rice than all administrations before his,” Marcos Jr. said, and also praised the infrastructure projects by his equally controversial predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.
He called for unity, saying “we will go further together than against each other, pushing forward not pulling each other.”
He did not touch on the human rights atrocities and plunder his father was accused of, saying he would not talk about the past but the future.
Activists and survivors of the martial law era under his father protested Marcos Jr.’s inauguration, which took place at a noontime ceremony at the steps of the National Museum in Manila.
Thousands of police officers, including anti-riot contingents, SWAT commandos and snipers, were deployed in the bayside tourist district for security.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, were among foreign dignitaries attending.
Marcos Jr. received more than 31 million votes and Sara Duterte more than 32 million of the more than 55 million votes cast in the May 9 election — massive victories that will provide them robust political capital as they face tremendous challenges as well as doubts arising from their fathers’ reputations.
It was the first majority presidential victory in the Philippines in decades.