The return of the Marcos to the Philippines, a bad omen for Southeast Asia

It is therefore Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr who will lead the Philippines for the next six years. “After thirty-six years, it seems that Filipinos as a whole have forgiven his father’s brutality and greed,” is surprised the Jakarta Post in an editorial.

Ferdinand Marcos’ reign ended in 1986, after twenty-one years of absolute power, when he fled abroad to escape a series of popular protests. Accused of corruption and violation of human rights, the dictator died in 1989 in Hawaii without having faced justice in his country.

The daily recalls that “the Philippines is the oldest democracy in Asean [Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est, qui compte 10 membres]”. According to Jarkarta Post, the 1986 Philippine Revolution encouraged Indonesian civil society activists to challenge General Suharto’s dictatorship, which fell in 1998 after more than three decades.

“Indonesia now holds pride of place as the third largest democracy in the world, after India and the United States.”

“A dismal failure”

But ASEAN countries are now experiencing a democratic decline due to the domination of family dynasties and military regimes, and it is ironic, says the Jakarta Post, that Filipino voters elected the former dictator’s son through the democratic process.

That is sure “because they yearn for a strong leader of the same caliber as Ferdinand Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte” [président des Philippines entre 2016 et 2022, dont la fille Sara a été élue vice-présidente au côté de Ferdinand Marcos Jr.].

To believe that “the thirty-six-year democratic project in the Philippines is a dismal failure”, reacts the Jakarta Post. The daily wonders, not without concern: will Indonesia be enough to set an example within Asean and “give hope to its neighbors that democracy, with all its freedoms, remains the best form of government? Or will it also revert to authoritarianism?”

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