Marcos family wins three victories in Philippine elections - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Marcos family wins three victories in Philippine elections

Lindy Aquino Lindy Aquino
Geminiano Q. Arre, Jr. Geminiano Q. Arre, Jr.
Emme Tomimbang Emme Tomimbang

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Back in power, Imelda Marcos has a new title.

The 80-year-old won a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives.


Her son and daughter won their elections as well.

There's mixed reaction in Hawaii, where the family lived after being exiled in shame.

This isn't the Marcos's first election victory. Since they've moved back from Hawaii, all three have secured seats in the Philippine government.

Imelda Marcos won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1995.

Her daughter Imee is a former congresswoman, and her son was a former governor and currently a congressman.

But this is the highest the family has gone on the political totem pole, and in Hawaii's Filipino community, feelings are mixed.

Nearly a quarter-century after scandals and allegations of corruption led to the fall of the late Ferdinand Marcos, the former Philippines President's family on Monday won a triple-victory.

His wife Imelda won a seat in the House of Representatives.

Their daughter Imee, was elected governor in the family's province, Ilocos Norte.

And Monday's numbers show their son, Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos, Jr., likely won his senate race.

"It's definitely a bad thing because political dynasties are basically undemocratic. It doesn't give people a chance to grow," said Lindy Aquino, former Director of Philippine Studies at University of Hawaii Manoa.

"Whether you like it or not, Marcos's did a lot for the province of Ilocos Norte," said Geminiano Q. Arre, Jr., President of the Filipino Community Center, "During the years of the dictatorship, those were the safest days to travel in the Philippines. If you travel Ilocos Norte, it probably has the best highways of any province. Even Imelda Marcos, she was the one who put together the Cultural Center of the Philippines."

Marcos's exile sharply divided Hawaii's Filipino community.

"I was put into a position all the time, walking on eggshells between the pro and the anti-Marcos groups and it was a really trying period for me," said former veteran reporter, Emme Tomimbang, who covered the Marcos family while they lived in exile on Oahu.

"I hope Philippine politics does not hamper Filipinos in what they do here in {Hawaii's} community," she said.

So how did the Marcos family garner so much support?

"The dictatorship is fading away from people's memories...some of it is out of sheer loyalty to a favorite name, favorite son in Ilocos," said Aquino.

Aquino says the family's wealth also plays a role.

"Yes in a way, campaigns in the Philippines are very expensive and there's a lot of bought-buying and so on," she said.

But with NoyNoy Aquino, son of former Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Jr., winning the presidency, the enemy lines may be fading.

"I would like to believe that in one generation when you have these two opposing forces of Marcos & Aquino...that in this generation the children are trying to make peace and moving forward so that the country can benefit toward democracy," said Tomimbang.

Aquino's wife, Corazon, spearheaded the 'People Power' revolt in 1986, which led to the fall of the Marcos regime, and ended his 20-year dictatorship.


She, along with others, believed Marcos was behind her husband's assassination.

After Marcos was ousted, Mrs. Aquino took over as President.


Now that both families have their children in power, Hawaii's Filipino community says unity there, could mean political unity here.


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