Philippines begins new era of Marcos rule
Ferdinand Marcos was sworn in as president of the Philippines on Thursday, completing a stunning comeback for one of Asia’s most famous political dynasties, 36 years after it was ousted in a popular uprising.
In a speech that echoed his campaign slogans of unity, Marcos Jr, better known as “Bongbong”, vowed to take the country far on his watch with policies benefiting everyone, and thanked the public for delivering what he called “the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy”.
“You will not be disappointed, so do not be afraid,” he said at his inauguration ceremony, surrounded by his immediate family and with his sister Imee, a senator, and 92-year-old mother Imelda, a former four-time congresswoman, seated close by, Reuters reports.
Marcos Jr, 64, also praised his late father’s rule, but said his presidency was not about the past, but a better future.
“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence ….but he got it done sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without,” he said.
“So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me.” He added: “No looking back in anger or nostalgia.”
The elder Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 for two decades, almost half of it under martial law.
The former senator and congressman campaigned on the slogan “together, we shall rise again”, invoking nostalgia for his father’s rule, which his family and supporters have portrayed as a golden age for the Philippines, a former U.S. colony.
Voters are counting on him to deliver on pledges to create jobs and bring down consumer prices in a country of 110 million people, nearly a quarter of whom live on less than $2 per day.
In a stirring 30-minute speech, Marcos Jr pledged education reforms, to improve food sufficiency, infrastructure, waste management and energy supply and to give full support for millions of overseas Filipino workers.
“I fully understand the gravity of the responsibility you put on my shoulders. I do not take it lightly but I am ready for the task,” he said.
“I will get it done.”