Accept Marcos’ landslide victory and prepare for his upcoming administration
Less than two hours after polls closed last May 9, it became clear that former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. would win the presidential race in a landslide. As predicted by different polling companies for months, Marcos maintained a 30-point margin over his nearest competitor, Vice President Leni Robredo.
With 98.35 of election returns tabulated, Marcos has 31,104,175 votes while Robredo has 14,822,051 votes – a margin of over 16 million votes. Curiously, Robredo’s 2022 vote total is only 400,000 higher compared to what she received in 2016.
His running-mate, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio of Davao City, likewise won the vice presidential race over closest rival Senator Francis Pangilinan by an even larger margin. Candidates aligned with the Marcos-Duterte ticket including Robin Padilla and Loren Legarda also dominated the senatorial race.
The election results is undoubtedly painful especially for those who backed the Robredo-Pangilinan. However, it is time to acknowledge Marcos as the president-elect of the Philippines. Barring any credible evidences and witnesses to the contrary, he won the presidential race with the largest number of votes received by a national candidate in Philippine history.
Entertaining conspiracy theories will not be helpful. Of course, our view on this can change if and when there’s an investigation, or if there’s a whistleblower. The sooner we accept the reality that Marcos is set to take office as the President of the Philippines by June 30, 2022, the easier it will be for the opposition and their supporters to strategize their game plan for the next six years.
Despite the heartbreak of the defeat, it is important for all concerned citizens – including Marcos supporters – to remain watchful of the government. It deserves our support when it is doing good things, and we have the duty to criticize it when it commits wrongdoings. Article III, section 4 of the 1987 Constitution guarantees the people’s right to free speech and expression, including the right to assemble.
Filipinos should also continue the fight against fake news, misinformation, and historical distortions. Facts and truths are worth fighting for, even if the majority chooses to look the other way.
There is no denying that the Robredo campaign was able to raise the political awareness of millions, particularly first-time voters. This is similar to the support that United States Senator Bernie Sanders was able to harness from the American youth during his two unsuccessful bids for the presidency. This political energy should now be directed into local races like the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections scheduled for December 2022.
It can also be utilized to support worthy causes like the upcoming establishment of the Angat Buhay Foundation. This final point cannot be overstated – time is of the essence when engaging in political battles, and it is important to start preparing early.