Voting Starts in Historic Election for New President Post-Pandemic

It's #OurTurn2022.

Filipinos voted on Monday in a historic election that will decide the post-pandemic fate of 110 million people and whether it would be led by Bongbong Marcos or Leni Robredo.

The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is tipped in the last survey before the polls to get a majority of roughly 67.5 million voters as he campaigned in the name of "unity" while evading tough questions on his father's documented crimes.

Vice President Robredo is seeking a come-from-behind win on the back of a volunteer-driven campaign that has turned social media feeds and condominium lights pink.

"More than the pandemic recovery, our choice this election will show whether we want continuity or change from the kind of Duterte leadership because, for the past six years, we have seen a strongman-image from a president," University of Santo Tomas Department of Political Science Chair Dennis Coronacion told reportr.

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"It's either a return to a more democratic path or a continuity of a sort of authoritarian rule for the next six years," he said.


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Voters line up at the Sampaguita National High School in San Pedro, Laguna on May 9, 2022 Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Vincent Yunon
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Polling precincts across the country opened at 6 a.m. to welcome voters, most of whom are young people, for a 13-hour voting period that was extended to accommodate pandemic restrictions.

The presidency, vice presidency, 12 Senate seats, 300 posts in the House of Representatives, and some 18,000 local positions are to be decided in this election.

While Marcos Jr. has been the consistent frontrunner in pre-election polls, critics are hoping Robredo could pull off another surprise, like when she defeated the late dictator's son in the 2016 vice presidential race. 

But regardless of who wins and loses in this election, Coronacion said it's clear that the political hostilities among Filipinos would likely stay.

"What is clear is that this elections has clearly shown how politically divided the people are and that’s not going away anytime soon," he said.

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