Credit rating agency Fitch believes presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos will be a clone of his idol President Rodrigo Duterte if he wins as president in the May 2022 national elections.
In an October 11 country risk and industry research, Fitch said: “In terms of policy, Bongbong appears to favour Duterte’s strongman leadership and has shown support for his father’s rule, posing risks of increased authoritarianism.”
Marcos is the son of former president Ferdinand Marcos who led an authoritarian regime from 1965 to 1986 which was eventually overthrown in the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution.
“Bongbong’s presidential bid will most likely draw distrust and anger from those who suffered under his father’s regime. Nevertheless, the Marcos family remains a dominant political force,” said Fitch.
One of Duterte’s first major decisions in his first few months in office was to order the burial of the dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani which ended Bongbong and his family’s 27-year-wait to lay to rest their patriarch’s remains.
After filing for his candidacy, Bongbong admitted that he felt disappointed that Duterte did not push through with his vice presidential bid because he wanted the President to be his running mate.
Aside from a strongman rule, Fitch also believes Bongbong will maintain Duterte’s pivot to China and friendly ties with President Xi Jinping.
“Bongbong appears one of the few candidates to agree with Duterte’s policy of engagement with Beijing, potentially offering the most policy continuity out of the announced candidates,” said Fitch.