Philippines goes to polls on Monday to decide its next President


Polls are underway in the Philippines on Monday to elect the country’s next president in a polarising campaign between frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the late dictator, and a human rights lawyer.

According to opinion polls, despite his family’s horrific history of human rights violations and corruption, Marcos Jr (also known as Bongbong), is likely to win the race. The Marcoses plundered the government for up to $10 billion, while thousands of his opponents were detained, tortured, and assassinated.

Around 18,000 positions are up for grabs, ranging from vice president to Senate and House of Representatives representatives to mayors, governors, and councillors. The polls shut at 7 p.m., after which an unofficial vote total might reveal the winner within hours.

A total of 67 million people are eligible to vote. The counting of votes will begin soon after the polls shut. Some observers, however, believe that the Covid measures will slow down the process this year.

A state of emergency was declared on Sunday by the Philippine police and military ahead of the poll, with the armed forces leader, Lt Gen Andres Centino, pledging to ensure “safe, accurate, free, and fair elections.”

The winner will take office on 30 June and lead for a single, six-year term.