Philippines, son of dictator Marcos is president. From the mother’s shoe collection to the father’s torture, the family returns to power

Time seems to have erased the memory of crimesfrom the torturefrom the dictatorshipfrom the corruption and of theft in Philippines. After 36 years from the popular overthrow of the regime of Ferdinand Marcosson Ferdinand Marcos Jr.said Bongbongwill become the next president of the country thus collecting the legacy of Rodrigo Duterte. The years in which the country suffered the hardships seem so far away, and indeed they are repression of the dictatorshipwith political opponents arrested, tortured, forced into exile and in some cases even killed. The times in which a country in full economic crisis, never really overcome, had to witness the concentration of wealth in the hands of a single family, capable of creating an estimated heritage of over 10 billion dollarsof which only 4 were recovered, between unbridled luxury, do you travel all over the world and the famous collection of over 3 thousand pairs of designer shoes of mother Imelda. Today, thanks to the alliance with the family Duterte and to one disinformation campaign years long, the dictator’s son returns to Malacañan Palace.

That of Bongbong it was a triumph. With about 90% of ballots counted, the late former president’s son got 28.8 million votesmore than double those of its rival, the vice president Leni Robredo. His victory, however, cannot be considered a sudden return to the political scene. After the coup d’état of 1986 and the subsequent exile in Hawaiiwhere his father died three years later, Ferdinand Jr. immediately began his work of family rehabilitation in the Filipino political landscape. In 1991 he was allowed to return to the country and a year later he had already managed to enter Parliament, where from 2010 to 2016 he occupied a seat as a senator.

This presence in the national political sphere, despite the past that involved his family, has several explanations. First of all, the close alliance with the powerful Duterte family, that of the outgoing president. A marriage that embraces the fiefdoms of the Marcos, in the provinces of Ilocos Norte And Leyteup to those of the Duterte, a Mindanao. Being sponsored by the outgoing president, much loved despite criticism for the iron fist with which he led the country, guaranteed him a huge advantage over the challenger.

Second, the customs clearance of the figure of Bongbong is the result of a media campaignespecially on socialof disinformation that had the dual purpose of cleaning up the image of the Marcos family, coming to define the years up to 1986 as a ‘golden age never found again, and to discredit possible rivals. A campaign made up of artfully crafted videos published on Youtube and on platforms Facebook related to the family that convinced millions of Filipinos that the pre-coup complaints were nothing but extensive work of defamation against the regime. Versions that negate the embezzlementthe corruption and the violence managing to convince the population. Only on their riches there has been no denial, but ‘only’ a work of historical revisionism: they are kept, they say, in offshore accounts or in secret bunkers in the form of gold bars waiting to be destined again for the needs of the Filipino people. This is how Marcos transformed himself from an heir of the dictatorship to a symbol of change.

Twitter: @GianniRosini

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