Philippines electoral body clears Ferdinand Marcos Jr to run for president

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Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos  (Getty Images)
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos (Getty Images)

Election officials in the Philippines have cleared the way for Ferdinand Marcos Jr — known as ‘BongBong’ — to fight the presidential election, overthrowing a legal hurdle that could have led to his disqualification.

The country’s Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said there was no merit to a case against the former senator, who is the son of former brutal dictator Ferdinand Marcos Jr and wife Imelda Marcos, over his failure to file income tax returns.

The 64-year-old has maintained a persistent lead in poll reviews as the country heads for polls on 9 May.

Experts have attributed his good ratings partially to a significant social media presence targeted at engaging with the youth who were not a part of the electorate when the senior Marcos was in power decades ago.

Of the total electorate, nearly 42 per cent of the eligible voters are under the age of 35.

However, Marcos Jr’s campaign was marred by five cases alleging his involvement in fraudulent tax records, demanding him to be ousted from the presidential race.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr amassed an estimated $10b worth of wealth through unfair means during his rule spanning two decades. The family still has a stronghold in the northern part of Philippines long after he was was overthrown in 1986.

He fled to the United States with his family and died in Hawaii in 198 but Imelda returned to the Philippines in 1991.

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