President Halimah, PM Lee congratulate Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Philippine election win

Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand
Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr, son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, greets his supporters at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, on 11 May, 2022. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have congratulated Ferdinand Marcos Jr on winning the presidential election in the Philippines, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Wednesday (18 May).

The 64-year-old son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos – who goes by his childhood nickname “Bongbong” – declared victory last Wednesday, having earned over 31 million votes in an unofficial vote count from polls.

Marcos' closest challenger, incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, garnered some 15 million votes, with boxing great Manny Pacquiao coming in third in the running.

His vice-presidential running mate, Sara Duterte, who is the 43-year-old daughter of outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, appeared to have also won by a landslide. Marcos and Duterte are set to take office on 30 June for a single six-year term, once results are confirmed by the Philippine Congress.

In a letter to Marcos dated Saturday, Halimah wrote of Singapore and the Philippines sharing "a warm and longstanding relationship, underpinned by strong economic cooperation and robust people-to-people ties".

Halimah said she recalls the "warm and gracious hospitality" that she received during her state visit to the Philippines in September 2019. "I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to make a State Visit to Singapore. I wish you every success in steering the Philippines to greater heights."

Lee wrote in a letter also dated Saturday that Marcos' victory showed "the people’s strong support" for his leadership and vision for the Philippines. Lee described the partnership between Singapore and the Philippines as "deep and longstanding", with close cooperation across many areas, including labour, trade and defence.

As founding members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Singapore and the Philippines share a similar outlook on key regional and global developments, and work closely to promote regional peace and prosperity, Lee added.

"I look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the benefit of our countries, peoples, and the region. I wish you every success. I look forward to meeting you soon."

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping were also among other leaders who have congratulated Marcos on his victory and pledged stronger ties with Manila.

Marcos' victory comes 36 years after the “People Power” revolt ousted his father and sent the family into exile. His father had long been accused of pilfering billions and massive human rights violations during the martial law years.

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