Political Dynasties Join Forces for Upcoming Philippine Elections

Two political families partner to pursue power . . .

In the latest twist in the Philippine 2022 presidential election, Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of current President Rodrigo Duterte, announced on Tuesday that she will run for vice-president alongside Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The announcement confirms speculation of an alliance between the Duterte and Marcos families, which will enable the pair to take advantage of their respective support bases in the country’s southern and northern regions. Due to their individual popularity as candidates, experts agree the Marcos-Duterte pair will be the key contenders to beat in the election in May to succeed Rodrigo Duterte. The pair also carries their families’ controversial reputations and allegations of human rights abuses committed during their times in power.

The return of Marcoses to power?

Duterte-Carpio’s decision to run as vice-president has come as a surprise to many due to her own public popularity as a top presidential candidate. Her absence from the presidential race has Marcos Jr. leading in the polls, but not without public challenge. Three petitions have been filed to either cancel Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy or disqualify him from the electoral race. The most recent disqualification petition was filed by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law group, based on Marcos Jr.’s 20-year-old conviction for failure to file income tax returns. The Marcos family continues to have a looming presence in the country, given the human rights abuses committed during martial law in the 1970s and 80s imposed by Marcos Jr.’s father, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

An everchanging landscape of candidates . . .

The Marcos-Duterte pair is the most recent iteration of dynastic power in the Philippine political landscape, which is dominated by political dynasties and celebrity candidates. They are joining a field of 97 presidential candidates, including current vice-president and opposition leader Leni Robredo, Manila mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Senator Manny Pacquiao, a former world champion boxer. Duterte himself has decided to leave the vice-presidential race and avoid potentially facing his daughter, instead running as a senator, making him the first president to run for a Senate seat. Duterte notably is not running under the PDP-Laban party that brought him to power, instead filing his candidacy under the new PDDS party, reportedly to avoid legal complications. Meanwhile, the PDP-Laban party has not given its support to the Marcos-Duterte pair, instead choosing to support Duterte ally Senator Bong Go’s presidential bid.