For Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, the frontrunner for Monday’s Philippine presidential election, a reframing of the country’s past has been crucial to securing his future. Last week, he reminded a television audience what a ‘political genius’ his late father, the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr, was. Bongbong’s revisionist history has infuriated many Filipinos but, it seems, resonated with many more. Polls show that he has a 30-point lead over his closest rival, the current vice-president Leni Robredo, though she has drawn massive crowds and expects a late surge of support.
Thirty-six years ago, after the ‘people power’ revolution ended, Marcos Sr’s dictatorship and sent the family fleeing to Hawaii, it seemed inconceivable that the Marcoses would ever return to the Philippines – more so as details emerged of the eye-watering fortune the ex-president and his wife Imelda had amassed.