Manila: Ferdinand Marcos Jr, whose dictator father and namesake plundered and brutalised the Philippines for decades, on Tuesday won a historic election victory, capping his clan's journey from pariahs to the presidential palace. Marcos Jr, known by his nickname "Bongbong", won in a landslide, following relentless whitewashing of the family's past and leveraging of powerful alliances with rival families that control swathes of the poverty-plagued country.
In the 36 years since a popular uprising toppled the patriarch and chased the family into US exile, the Marcoses have been rebuilding their political fortunes. Despite his own father's concerns about his "carefree and lazy" nature, Marcos Jr, 64, made it the furthest.
After narrowly losing the vice presidential race to Leni Robredo in the 2016 election, he was determined their rematch in the presidential contest would end differently. Vowing to unify the country, Marcos Jr made sweeping promises on the campaign trail to boost jobs and tackle rising prices as part of a pathway out of the pandemic.
"Unity is my cause because of my firm belief that unity is the first step towards getting out of this crisis we are now in," Marcos Jr said in February - without ever explaining further what the slogan meant. Growing up in the presidential palace in Manila, Marcos Jr wanted to be an astronaut before he followed in his father's footsteps into politics.
He served as vice governor and twice as governor of the family's northern stronghold of Ilocos Norte province, and also had stints in the House of Representatives and the Senate.