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Marcos Jr. takes oath as Philippine president

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was sworn in as Philippine president Thursday in one of the greatest political comebacks in recent history that opponents say was pulled off by whitewashing his family’s image.

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., left top, and his wife Maria Louise Marcos arrive for the inauguration ceremony at National Museum on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in Manila, Philippines. AP
President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., right, is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo during the inauguration ceremony at National Museum on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in Manila, Philippines. AP

His rise to power, 36 years after an army-backed “People Power” revolt booted his father from office and into global infamy, upends politics in the Asian democracy, where a public holiday, monuments and the Philippine Constitution stand as reminders of the end of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s rule.

But in his inaugural speech, Marcos Jr. defended the legacy of his late father, who he said accomplished many things that were not done since the country’s independence, adding he would emulate him.

“He got it done, sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without. So will it be with his son,” he said to applause from his supporters in the crowd. “You will get no excuses from me.”

“My father built more and better roads, produced more rice than all administrations before his,” Marcos Jr. said, and also praised the infrastructure projects by his equally controversial predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

He called for unity, saying “we will go further together than against each other, pushing forward not pulling each other.” He did not touch on the human rights atrocities and plunder his father was accused of, saying he would not talk about the past but the future.

Incoming Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., second right, and outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, second left, attend Marcos’ inauguration ceremony at the Malacanang Presidential Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, June 30, 2022. AP

Activists and survivors of the martial law era under his father protested Marcos Jr.’s inauguration, which took place at a noontime ceremony at the steps of the National Museum in Manila.

Thousands of police officers, including anti-riot contingents, SWAT commandos and snipers, were deployed in the bayside tourist district for security.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, were among foreign dignitaries attending.

More details on Friday’s Borneo Bulletin