“To the world he says: judge me by my deeds, not my ancestry,” Vic Rodriguez added in a statement.

According to preliminary results covering almost all polling stations, Marcos Junior, nicknamed “Bongbong”, obtained more than 56% of the vote and more than twice as many votes as his main rival, outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo.

This crushing victory marks the return to power of the Marcos family, 36 years after the popular revolt which had driven them out.

One of the president-elect’s first acts was to visit his father’s grave, his campaign team announced on Wednesday.

Marcos Senior died in exile in 1989 and his embalmed body was interred in 2016 at the National Heroes Cemetery in Manila, with the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Young Marcos is grateful to the Filipino people for giving him a landslide victory and to his father, who was his (source) of inspiration throughout his life and taught him the value and meaning of true leadership” , Marcos’ team said in a statement, describing the son as the “president in the making.”

Photos posted on “Bongbong’s” official social media accounts show him standing in front of the huge grave, his head tilted slightly and covering his eyes with his right hand, as if crying.

He placed a large bouquet on the grave on which are a bust and a black and white portrait of the dictator.

Another photo shows Marcos Jr sitting in a chair in front of the grave, praying.

Before his transfer to Manila, the remains of the former dictator were kept in a crypt at the family home in the province of Ilocos Norte in the northern Philippines.

Marcos Jr, 64, called his father a “political genius” and his two decades in power an era of peace and prosperity for the archipelago.

The electoral campaign of Ferdinand Marcos Jr was marked by a vast and often abject campaign of misinformation, ignoring the tens of thousands of opponents arrested, tortured or killed, or even the billions of dollars stolen by the Marcos clan from the coffers of the country for his personal enrichment.

For years, pro-Marcos Junior accounts have invaded social networks, passing off the twenty years of his father’s regime (1965-1986) to young Filipinos as a golden era.

“Bongbong” is the first presidential candidate to win an absolute majority since his father was overthrown in 1986, forcing his family into exile in the United States.

The story of the once-hated family’s return to grace has overshadowed questions about what a Marcos government would be like.

Dodging televised debates and interviews, the candidate left few clues.

He will be accompanied by Sara Duterte, daughter of the outgoing president, elected very comfortably on Monday as vice-president of the country. The two highest mandates of the country will therefore be occupied by two children of former authoritarian heads of state.

Human rights activists, Catholic prelates and political analysts fear that the landslide victory will empower Mr. Marcos Jr to rule the country with an iron fist.

Supporters of Leni Robredo, who saw the poll as a watershed moment for the Philippines’ fragile democracy, were devastated by her landslide defeat.

They had traveled the archipelago for months for the Liberal candidate’s campaign.

Ms Robredo, 57, admitted to being “clearly disappointed” with the result but promised to continue to fight against bad governance.

Mr. Marcos will have to deal with this opposition which could turn into a powerful pro-democracy movement.

“I think they might still be able to control the worst instincts of the future Marcos and Duterte administration,” said political observer Richard Heydarian.



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