As the polling closed in the Philippines Presidential Elections, the vote counting has begun. An unofficial and partial tally of 72 percent of the votes have revealed that frontrunner Bongbong Marcos has taken a clear lead.
The unofficial count by Comelec, the Philippines Commission on Elections, confirmed that the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos garnered 23.52 million votes. His strongest rival and the only female candidate in the elections, Leni Robredo, received 11.18 million votes.
This time Marcos might finally be able to avenge his loss of the 2016 Vice-Presidency, where Robredo had won by a narrow margin. In the Vice Presidential race, Marcos Jr's running mate Sara Duterte, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, is leading with 19 million votes.
In case of the other candidates, Manny Pacquiao gained 2.23 million votes, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno 1.51 million votes and lastly Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson got 72 thousand votes.
Marcos' huge lead has experts wondering on the return of the Marcos family to the president's official residence, the MalacaÃ±ang palace, almost 35 years after they were forced out by the People Power Revolution.
With a tightly run but extremely well-funded campaign Marcos, a former senator and congressman, used social media to his advantage to win the support of the country's youth which ultimately played a pivotal role in his unofficial victory over the other candidates.
Through his campaign slogan "Together, we shall rise again" his main aim will be towards uniting the nation by generating a feeling of nationalism and working together with the citizens to recuperate from the trauma caused by Covid-19.
This year's election saw more than 60 million Filipinos lining up to vote for their next president as well as 18,000 local officials.