Marcos redux: puzzling out the Philippines election and politics

Mon May 30 2022 at 07:00 pm

Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand - FCCT | Bangkok

Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand - FCCT
Publisher/HostForeign Correspondents' Club of Thailand - FCCT
Marcos redux: puzzling out the Philippines election and politics
On May 9, the Philippines elected a new president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, a full 36 years after his father flew into exile to escape the pressure of the People Power Revolution of February 1986. The senior Marcos left behind a record of martial law, serious rights abuses and astronomical personal corruption, but apparently many of the approximately 56.6 million voters who cast ballots did not associate the son with the sins of the father. Marcos Jr won by a landslide, with more than 30 million votes compared to his nearest rival, Leni Robredo who won 14.7 million votes.

The election results have boggled many observers’ minds. How did this happen and why? What did Marcos have to offer that so many Filipino voters supported him, despite his unwillingness to articulate issues and policies beyond building “unity” and his refusal to engage in debates with other candidates or conduct interviews with all but the most sympathetic media? Where did the other candidates go wrong with their policies, and campaigns? And with Sara Duterte, the daughter of current President Rodrigo Duterte as Marcos's Vice-President, how will this Marcos-Duterte alliance move forward on issues such as the bloody ‘drug war’, media freedom and rights issues, and relations with external powers, especially China and the US?

Come to the FCCT to hear expert opinions on what’s happening in the Philippines, and what it will mean for the people of that country and the wider Southeast Asian region.

Our panel will include:

Jonathan Head, Southeast Asian correspondent, BBC News, freshly back from reporting in the Philippines; he’s also a past president of the FCCT.

Johanna Son is the editor and founder of Reporting ASEAN, a news site focused on in-depth reportage with a Southeast Asian regional perspective. She’s reported from the region three decades, contributing to many publications, including the Bangkok Post and Nikkei Asia Review, and previously directing the IPS Asia-Pacific news agency.

Tharindu Abeyrathna, program officer and mission coordinator for the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) election observation team on the ground before, during and after the Philippines elections.

Richard Heydarian is one of the most prolific and astute commentators on the politics of the Philippines and a frequent contributor to the world’s major media outlets. He is author of "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Master", and a professorial chairholder in Geopolitics at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Moderator: Phil Robertson, FCCT board member and deputy Asia director, Human Rights Watch.

Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand - FCCT, 518/5 Ploenchit Road, Maneeya Center, Penthouse, Bangkok, Thailand

Sharing is Caring: