Late dictator's son emerges as clear frontrunner, drawing criticism and disbelief from Catholic groups
Former senator and vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, greets supporters in this Oct. 18, 2016, file photo. (Photo: AFP)
The son of late Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos has emerged as the frontrunner for next year’s presidential election, according to opinion polls.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., a former senator and vice-presidential candidate, is a long way ahead of his rivals, according to a poll conducted by the Manila Times daily, the results of which were released on Nov. 9.
The poll carried out from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2 saw some 68 percent backing Marcos Jr.
Opposition standard-bearer and Vice President Leni Robredo ranked second with 10.8 percent while Manila mayor Isko Domagoso ranked third with 7.9 percent. Former boxing icon Manny Pacquiao was not far behind with 7.2 percent, while 2 percent said they were undecided.
Two other media polls showed the same results.
Previous polls had voters heavily backing Sara Duterte, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, before she announced she would not be running in the election.
If you would vote for Marcos Jr., what kind of Catholic are you? Be afraid of God for you are voting for a thief and a murderer
Several Catholic groups including clergymen expressed disappointment at the amount of support Marcos Jr. was getting.
Members of the Catholic Lay Alliance in Cubao Diocese said voters must be suffering from “memory loss” by supporting him.
“It’s amazing how so many of our countrymen have forgotten the dark era of martial law. Many have forgotten the billions of pesos stolen by a family that has not shown any remorse. Why would Filipino voters still support them?” alliance member Maricel Garido told UCA News.
“They have invested so much in social media to revise our nation’s history. In the name of the thousands of Filipinos who suffered and died at their hands, I beg voters to vote for the best candidate.”
Duterte critic Father Flavie Villanueva questioned why Catholics would support Marcos Jr.
“If you would vote for Marcos Jr., what kind of Catholic are you? Be afraid of God for you are voting for a thief and a murderer,” Father Villanueva told UCA News.
“Our debt has ballooned because of the Marcoses. If the Marcoses did not steal, what will you call the Supreme Court cases that say that the Marcoses are guilty of graft and corruption and that they have ill-gotten wealth?”
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