Thinking Citizen Blog — Another Marcos in Power in the Philippines — Why? So What?

Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day

Today’s Topic: Another Marcos in Power in the Philippines — Why? So What?

“Bongbong” Marcos (first photo below), the 68 year-old son of Philippine dictator Fernando Marcos and his wife Imelda, recently won a landslide victory in the Presidential election (59% versus 28%). His vice presidential partner is Sara Duterte (second photo), daughter of the outgoing president, Rodrigo Duterte (third photo). Today, some excerpts from an article giving a little background and some more details. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “His opponents fear he could use his power to wage political battles against his family’s adversaries, shield allies from scrutiny and enrich his associates like his father did before an uprising ousted him 36 years ago.”

2. “What’s at stake, his critics say, is the future of democracy in the Philippines after a turbulent six-year term under outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.”

3. “Mr. Duterte, a tough-talking populist, has been accused of using courts against critics, stifling independent media and overseeing human rights abuses as part of his war on drugs.”


1. “To Mr. Marcos’s supporters, many of whom are too young to remember his father’s rule, the 64-year-old represents the antidote to a liberal elite that fell short on promises to meaningfully improve the lives of the poor.”

2. “That image resonated particularly among those eager to overcome hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

3. “The country’s economy, which relies heavily on exports, services and foreign remittances, shrank 9.6% in 2020 — its worst year in decades — while badly needed infrastructure projects were slowed by supply constraints, lockdowns and funds rerouted to emergency responses. Growth rebounded slightly last year but still lags behind the prepandemic trajectory.”

THE LEGACY OF HIS FATHER — martial law, corruption, human rights abuses, the assassination of Benigno Aquino

1. Mr. Marcos’s father, who he was named after, was a dictator who ruled the Philippines for 21 years.”

2. “He was elected president twice, then declared martial law and clung to power for another 14 years, an era of rampant corruption and human rights abuses.”

3. “Government investigators say the Marcoses stole $5 billion to $10 billion from the state. Critics were arrested, tortured and killed.

NB: “The assassination of then-opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983 united the regime’s opponents and ultimately led to its downfall three years later….The elder Mr. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.”

FOOTNOTE — THE AQUINO DYNASTY — the legacy of Benigno Aquino (1932–1983)

1. Corazon Aquino (1933–2009), wife of the assassinated Benigno Aquino, succeeded Marcos after he fled in 1986 after the fraudulent “snap election” of 1986. She served until 1992.

2. She is known as the “Mother of Democracy.” And the anniversary of her husband’s assassination is a national holiday.

3. Her son, Benigno Aquino III (1960–2021) was elected President in 2010 with 46% of the vote to his opponent’s 26%. He served until 2016, but died of renal failure in 2021.

2022 Philippine presidential election — Wikipedia

Bongbong Marcos — Wikipedia

Sara Duterte — Wikipedia

Rodrigo Duterte — Wikipedia

Imelda Marcos — Wikipedia

Benigno Aquino Jr. — Wikipedia

Corazon Aquino — Wikipedia

Assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr. — Wikipedia


#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20

PDF with headlines — Google Drive


Please share the coolest or most important thing you learned in the last week, month, or year related to foreign policy. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in our life related to foreign policy.

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is the key to depth of thought. The prospect of imminent publication, like hanging and final exams, concentrates the mind. A useful life long habit.



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