Marcos Jr. officially proclaimed president-elect

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25)—Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was officially proclaimed the next Philippine president, the same position his father and namesake occupied for 20 years before he himself was overthrown via a peaceful revolt in 1986.

The official canvass of votes by the joint congressional canvassing committee on Wednesday showed that Marcos received 31,629,783 votes or 58.77% of the ballots cast.

This translated to a landslide victory over his closest rival Vice President Leni Robredo, who garnered over 15 million votes.

Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte will occupy the top two positions in the country for the next six years once their terms start on June 30.

'I want to do well'

Following the Congress' proclamation, Marcos vowed that his administration will be one that "strives for perfection."

"[To] have received over 31 million votes from our countrymen is as valuable [an] expression of trust as can be had by anyone in public life," Marcos said, adding he was "humbled" by the victory.

"I promise you, we may not be perfect, but we will always strive [for] perfection," he stated.

Marcos also sought the public's prayers so he could perform well as the next chief executive.

"I ask you all pray for me. Wish me well. I want to do well. Because when a president does well, the country does well. And I want to do well for this country," he said.

Marcos' win came as no surprise since he had been the frontrunner in pre-election surveys despite having a significantly smaller attendance in his campaign rallies nationwide compared to the mammoth crowds at Robredo's events.

RELATED: Pulse Asia: Rally attendees only a fraction of voting population

The projection of pre-election surveys was immediately reflected in the first hours after voting precincts closed on election day, one that was hounded by complaints of vote-buying and errors in over 1,000 vote-counting machines.

Despite Marcos' stunning rise to power, as he almost doubled the votes outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte got in the 2016 election, ghosts from his and his family's past continue to hound him.

The impending return of another Marcos to Malacañang palace 36 years after the family fled because of "people power" revolt has been a deeply divisive issue for Filipinos.

The sins from the past

After he filed his candidacy to run for president, Marcos was asked whether he will apologize for the crimes committed during his father's military rule from 1972 to 1981— an era fraught with widespread corruption, extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, and torture.

The younger Marcos previously said he can only apologize for himself if he has done something wrong, but that he could not apologize for what his father has done.

RELATED: Bongbong Marcos not sorry for father's reign: 'I can only apologize for what I have done'

While wooing voters during the campaign period, Marcos Jr. highlighted that he'd rather talk about his platform rather than dwell on allegations of human rights abuses during martial law and the ill-gotten wealth issue, which he falsely claimed have all been resolved.

Some of the ill-gotten wealth cases against the Marcoses have yet to be resolved. Of the estimated $10 billion the Marcoses and their cronies supposedly stole from government coffers, the Presidential Commission on Good Government or PCGG said it has so far recovered over ₱170 billion and is still in the process of chasing after ₱125 billion more in assets.

Bongbong's own ghosts

Looking past his family ties, Marcos Jr. is also hounded by his own issues, including allegations that he lied about his educational attainment, that he has tax liabilities, and a troll farm to spread fake news and rewrite his family's sullied past.

At a young age, Marcos Jr. held local chief executive positions in his home province of Ilocos Norte. He also served in the legislative branch as congressman and senator.

After his defeat in the 2016 vice presidential race, he laid low from public life until he filed his candidacy for president in October 2021.

Analysts attribute Marcos Jr.'s rise in popularity despite not being visible in the public eye to the years-long attempt to rebrand his clan's tarnished image, largely through YouTube and social media platforms like Facebook and Tiktok.

Marcos, who claimed to be a victim of fake news, was found by fact-checking coalition to be the biggest beneficiary of fake news, while his archrival Robredo is the top victim of disinformation.

A newly-launched website exposing trolls,, said it found over 100 trolls linked to the Marcos campaign who have coordinated with each other through fake accounts to spread misinformation in sustained malicious attacks against Robredo.

The incoming president told CNN Philippines in April that he has rejected offers to mobilize troll farms to help improve his public image and boost his candidacy. He insisted his social media presence remains organic despite several local and international in-depth investigative reports that he allegedly built a web of online disinformation.

Marcos Jr. also has faced petitions against his candidacy because he was convicted in July 1995 by a Quezon City court for his multiple failures to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 when he served as local official in Ilocos Norte. This was the basis of civic leaders in filing a petition at the Commission on Elections to disqualify him for what they said were "multiple false material representations" that he was eligible to seek the presidency. The Marcos camp, however, maintained that his conviction for failure to file income tax returns is not tantamount to tax evasion or a crime involving moral turpitude as "yellow wannabe political assassins" portray it to be.

At least two petitions to void Marcos' candidacy have already reached the Supreme Court.

One of the petitions said if Marcos' candidacy is voided, votes he got will be considered as stray votes. If the high court rules in favor of the petitioners, "a qualified candidate who placed second to a disqualified one can be proclaimed as the winner," it added.

Aside from the income tax issue, the Bureau of Internal Revenue in March also confirmed that it has been demanding that the Marcoses settle their ₱23 billion in estate tax debt — estimated to have ballooned to ₱203 billion due to interests and penalties.

Marcos has also been criticized for lying about his educational attainment. Despite claims that he graduated from Oxford University in 1978, the university itself confirmed that he did not complete his BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics after enrolling in 1975. He was, however, awarded a special diploma in social studies in 1978.

On the cusp of winning the presidency, Marcos Jr. asked Filipinos to judge him not by his ancestors, but by his own actions.

A second chance

With the Marcoses' return to Malacañang, Bongbong's sister Imee hopes for a platform that would help them "clarify" the legacy of their father.

"What's most important to us is, of course, our name, the family name that has become so controversial, and so difficult at times to bear," the senator told CNN Philippines.

"The legacy of my father is what we hope will be clarified at last."

Marcos' inauguration is set on June 30. No further details have been released as of publishing, but his camp is considering Quirino Grandstand, Fort Santiago, and other historical sites as possible venue.

CNN Philippines' Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.