MANILA (UPDATE) — Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio were officially proclaimed by Congress on Wednesday as winners of the May 9 presidential and vice-presidential elections.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio had campaigned on a promise to unify the country, boost jobs, and tame rising prices as the Philippines sought a pathway out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I proclaim Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. as the duly elected President of the Republic of the Philippines and Sara Zimmerman Duterte as the duly elected Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines,” said Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco in a joint session of Congress.
Sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, Congress said Marcos received at least 31,629,783 votes, more than double the 15,035,773 tally of his closest rival, outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo.
Duterte-Carpio received 32,208,417 votes, while second placer Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan got 9,329,207.
Marcos, 64, son and namesake of the late dictator who was ousted from office in the 1986 People Power Revolution, will become the 17th President of the Philippines. He will succeed Rodrigo Duterte who steps down next on June 30.
Duterte-Carpio, the outgoing president's daughter who is turning 44 on May 31, will serve as the 15th Vice President of the country.
The two will assume office on June 30.
The Senate and House of Representatives started canvassing votes for the presidential and vice presidential elections on Tuesday. Unofficial tallies had already indicated the landslide victory of the Marcos-Duterte tandem as early as the night of May 9.
At the start of the official canvassing of votes for president, Robredo's camp said it would make no objections, speeding up the proceedings.
Marcos' spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, said this was the beginning of the "unification process."
"I think, you will agree with me that that is a good start towards the unification process and the healing process," Rodriguez said.
The 2-day vote canvassing was the “fastest canvass ever done in the history of our elections,” said Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
“We did not sacrifice accuracy and transparency. Nakita niyo naman, it was all open to the public. Nakita niyo naman, first time, live feed tayo sa public,” Zubiri said in a chance interview minutes before the proclamation.
(You saw that it was all open to the public. You saw that for the first time, we had a live feed to the public.)
Aside from Robredo, other major rivals of Marcos for the presidency were Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, senators Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson.
Around 83% of 67 million registered voters cast their ballots in this year's national and local polls, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Marcos congratulated the Comelec, the Board of Election Inspectors, poll-watchers, and the National Board of Canvassers for what he said was the "best-run elections" he has seen.
"The most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote, because embedded in that vote are their hopes and aspirations for the future. Also embedded in that hope are the trust and confidence they give to you to take them to that aspirational future," Marcos said.
He also thanked those who voted for him, and sought for prayers and well-wishes.
"I want to do well, because when a president does well, a country does well, and I want to do well," he said.
MARCOS JR, INCOMING 17th PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT
Marcos is the first presidential candidate to win an outright majority since his father, whose 2-decade rule from 1965 was marred by corruption and human rights abuses.
He lost to Robredo in the vice-presidential race in 2016.
The incoming president, the second child of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, served as senator from 2010 until 2016. His sister Imee is an incumbent senator.
At 23, he was elected vice-governor of Ilocos Norte, and went on to become the governor the following election. He served until 1986 when the Marcos family was forced into exile in the United States.
He returned to the Philippines in 1991, shortly before Corazon Aquino ended her presidential term. He went on to win as Ilocos Norte representative in 1992, served 3 consecutive terms as Ilocos Norte governor from 1998 to 2007, and again as member of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2010.
He is married to Louise Araneta, a founding partner in the Marcos Ochoa Serapio Tan (MOST) Law Firm. They have 3 sons: Ferdinand Alexander (Sandro), Joseph Simon, and William Vincent. Sandro was also elected as Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative in the May 9 polls.
Marcos' candidacy was challenged by victims of martial law who filed but lost disqualification cases before the Comelec.
The 92-year-old Marcos matriarch Imelda attended her son's proclamation wearing a pink gown and her signature beehive hairdo.
Marcos's victory followed relentless online whitewashing of the family's past and alliances with rival political dynasties who have the means to influence voters in their regions.
DUTERTE-CARPIO, 15TH VP-ELECT
Duterte-Carpio, a lawyer, is one of Duterte's 4 children, and like him, also served as city mayor of Davao.
She had once been tipped to try to succeed her father in the presidential palace as voter surveys last year put her well in front of other possible contenders, including Marcos.
But she stunned political observers -- and apparently her father -- by striking a deal with Marcos and instead running for the deputy's job.
While her role as vice president will be largely ceremonial, it puts her within a heartbeat of the highest office and in pole position to run for president in 6 years' time. She will serve as the Marcos administration's education secretary.
Known for her quick temper -- she once repeatedly punched a court sheriff in front of TV cameras -- she also has a fondness for big motorbikes and tattoos.
She is married to Manases Carpio, also a lawyer, and they have 3 children nicknamed Sharkie, Stingray and Stonefish.
Her siblings, Paolo and Sebastian, also won in the May 9 elections, the former as Davao City 1st District representative and the latter as Davao City mayor.