Philippines Election 2022: Bongbong's win would halt the search for his family's ill-gotten $10 billion

ManilaEdited By: Nikhil PandeyUpdated: May 09, 2022, 03:14 PM IST
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Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, delivers a speech during a campaign rally in Lipa, Batangas province, Philippines, April 20, 2022. Photograph:(Reuters)

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Watchdog groups are concerned that the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos will be elected president of the Philippines, putting an end to the quest for his family's ill-gotten fortune.34,000 individuals were tortured and another 3,200 were murdered during Ferdinand Marcos' reign. During Marcos' 20-year reign, the Marcos family acquired nearly $10 billion in unlawful wealth.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is the favourite in the country's ongoing presidential election, prompting fears that if he wins, searches for the family's unlawfully acquired money — estimated to be worth $10 billion — will be stifled.

According to Reuters, Marcos Jr — or Bongbong as locals refer to him — is on course to win the May 9 presidential election. 

Despite being the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and first lady Imelda Marcos, the renowned political pair who stole billions from the Filipino people during their 20-year rule, Bongbong was 33 percent points ahead of his nearest challenger, Leni Robredo, in mid-April.

The Marcos "acquired" their wealth through embezzling government funding and financial aid before their demise in 1986.

They were not afraid to flaunt their wealth, investing in four Manhattan properties worth more than $300 million at the time.

Watch | The Final Fight: Marcos junior versus Leni Robredo | Philippine Elections

They also owned over 200 works of art, including Picasso, Van Gogh, and Michelangelo masterpieces, many of which are still missing.

The family's assets are estimated to be worth between $5 billion and $10 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Marcos was a harsh ruler who implemented martial law in 1972, in addition to his financial misdeeds.

According to Amnesty International, tens of thousands of Filipinos were arrested, tortured, and killed over the course of nine years.