Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Analysts: Marcos pick by overseas Filipinos may be a protest vote

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s lead in the tally for overseas absentee voting (OAV) could have been influenced by the desire of overseas Filipinos to see swift solutions for problems plaguing the Philippines, a couple of analysts told GMA News Online on Tuesday.
De La Salle University (DLSU) political science assistant professor Richard Heydarian explained that Marcos shared the same appeal as Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who took the top spot in OAV tallies for the presidential race.
"For many, 'strongman' candidates like Duterte and Marcos represented swift and decisive solutions to national problems. Many OFWs are exasperated with what they see as lack of necessary reforms at home, government neglect, and lack of effective leadership," Heydarian said.
He added that OFWs "by and large seem to have voted in protest against the current establishment", which it blames for "lack of job opportunities at home and their predicaments."
Jean Encinas-Franco, assistant professor at the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD) political science department, said the age and location of overseas Filipinos may have also factored in their choice of candidates.
"According to the 2015 Survey of Overseas Filipinos, half of OFs are in the 25 to 34 year old age group. These are people who were not born or either too young during the Ferdinand Marcos years," Franco said.
"Also, OFs have been exposed to societies where the rule of law is followed and as such would not have a problem with a Duterte presidency and his brand of authoritarian leadership," she added.
The perceived benefits from an authoritarian regime also lead some Filipinos to ignore the more disastrous parts of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s 21-year dictatorship.
"Many fondly remember the old days under Marcos, so clearly autocratic nostalgia played some role too. Though of course almost all experts agree that the Marcos years were a political and economic disaster for the country," Heydarian said.
Franco noted, however, that despite being on top of the OAV tally, Marcos still failed to get majority of votes among Filipinos based abroad. Marcos received 176,669 out of the 432,706 votes cast during the OAV period.
"There are only more than 400,000 OF votes so even if Marcos got the highest number of votes among his opponents, the pie is still small, unless he managed to have gotten all the OF votes which he did not," Franco said. —JST, GMA News
The views expressed by the political analysts in this article do not necessarily reflect the position of this website.

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