CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast: The Philippines: A Family Business

At the end of June, the Philippines will formally inaugurate a new leadership – but it will feature two very familiar names. There will be a second ‘President Ferdinand Marcos’; and another Duterte – Sara, daughter of the current president – will become vice-president.

The new President Marcos, generally known as Bongbong, is the son of the man who led the Philippines from the time he was elected in 1965 until he was deposed by a ‘people power’ revolution in 1986. During the two decades in between, Marcos Senior amassed billions of dollars in private wealth, oversaw the killing and disappearance of thousands of political opponents, imposed martial law and created a debt-fuelled economic boom which ended in a major recession.

Sara Duterte is the daughter of a man who has polarised the Philippines during the past six years, the current president, Rodrigo Duterte. His signature policy was a ‘war on drugs’ which has caused the deaths of somewhere between six and thirty thousand people.

Despite these chequered family backgrounds, both Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte were elected with huge majorities in the elections on May 9th. Now the dust has settled, we’re going to find out how they did it and what it means for the country.

Our first guest is Ronald Holmes, President of Pulse Asia, one of the Philippines’ leading public opinion research companies. He’s also Professor of Politics at De La Salle University in Manila. Joining him is Maria Ela Atienza, Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of the Philippines. Our guest host for this episode is Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at the London-based think-tank, Chatham House. Listen to the podcast episode: