The Manila Times : The son rises

By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. proclaimed 17th PH President

(UPDATE) FERDINAND "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was proclaimed the 17th President of the Philippines on Wednesday, May 25, securing the post that was occupied by his father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., for more than 20 years.

After less than two days of counting election returns and certificates of canvass, Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), proclaimed the former senator and his running mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, as vice president.

His proclamation was witnessed by his mother Imelda, his sisters Sen. Maria Imelda Josefa "Imee" Marcos and Irene Marcos-Araneta, his wife Louise "Liza" Araneta-Marcos, and his son, Joseph Simon Marcos.

Marcos thanked the Filipino people for their trust and promised that his administration will strive for "perfection."

"So, I ask you all, pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when a president does well, the country does well. And I want to do well for this country," he said.

Marcos, 64, will take office next month.

"I was humbled because for anyone in public service or in a public life, the most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote because embedded in that vote are their hopes and their aspirations for the future. But also embedded in that vote are the trust and the confidence that they give to you to take them to that aspirational future," Marcos said.

"And that is why, to have received over 31 million votes from our countrymen is as valuable an expression of trust as can be had by anyone in public life," he added.

Marcos congratulated all of those involved in the electoral process, the Commission on Elections, teachers and the NBOC.

Marcos said it was "the best-run elections that we have seen and that has truly reflected the voice of the people and the choice of the people. I am inspired by this responsibility that has been given me."

Based on the final official tally, Marcos won the presidential race with 31,629,783 votes while Duterte-Carpio led the vice presidential race with 32,208,417 votes.

Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto 3rd and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco proclaimed Marcos and Duterte-Carpio as duly elected president and vice president.

The Joint Canvassing Committee finished counting the votes at past 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the fastest canvassing of votes for president and vice president in the country's history.

In 1992, the proclamation of former president Fidel Ramos took 42 days after the elections; 18 days for the proclamation of former president Joseph Estrada in 1998; 45 days for the proclamation of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; 30 days for the proclamation of late former president Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino 3rd; and 21 days for the proclamation of outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte.

Marcos' proclamation only took 16 days after the May 9 national and local polls.

In Malacañang, acting Palace spokesman Martin Andanar congratulated Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.

"Today's proclamation ceremony by Congress marks another historic milestone in our political life as a nation underscoring that we are, indeed, a showcase and beacon of democracy in this part of the world," Andanar said in a statement.

He assured the public that the Office of the President "shall ensure a peaceful, orderly and smooth transfer of powers to the President-elect as we extend all the necessary support and assistance to various transition activities."

"As both leaders are about to embark on the responsibilities and challenges of their respective offices, we reiterate our call for our people to stand behind our newly elected leaders," he added.

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio ran on a platform of unity. He promised to lower electricity rates, provide sufficient energy supply and reduce the price of rice, the country's main staple.

The former senator also vowed to continue the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte administration and prioritize the development of digital infrastructure.

On foreign relations, Marcos' spokesman Victor Rodriguez earlier said it will be inclusive and that the Philippine interest will always be a priority.

"What I can tell you, you can expect and look forward to a better relationship with our longtime partner and ally, the United States. The foreign policy of President-elect Bongbong, it would be inclusive," Rodriguez said.

"We will not be exclusive to anyone. The interest of the Filipino people and the national interest comes first and will never be compromised, especially on our territorial integrity. It will never be compromised," he added.