philippine election winner marcos visits dictator fathers grave - Philippine election winner Marcos visits dictator father's grave

MANILA (AFP) – Ferdinand Marcos Junior visited the grave of his dictator father hours after his thumping victory in the Philippine presidential election, his team said on Wednesday (May 11), posting photos of the intimate moment on social media.

Marcos died in exile in 1989, but his remains were only interred in the national heroes’ cemetery in Manila in 2016 after President Rodrigo Duterte defied public outcry to order their burial with full military honours.

Mr Marcos Jr, popularly known as “Bongbong”, won Monday’s election by a landslide after a decades-long effort to whitewash the family’s past and return them to the presidential palace.

In 1986, the patriarch was toppled from power and the family chased out of the country by a popular revolt involving millions of Filipinos fed up with his brutal and corrupt 20-year rule.

Hours after initial counting showed Mr Marcos Jr with an unassailable lead over his main rival Leni Robredo, he visited his father’s tomb.

“The young Marcos is grateful to the Filipino people for giving him the landslide victory and to his father, who have (sic) been his inspiration throughout his life and taught him the value and meaning of true leadership,” the Marcos team said in a statement, describing the son as the “president-in-waiting”.

Photos posted on official Mr Marcos Jr social media accounts showed him standing before the oversized tomb with his head slightly bowed and covering his eyes with his right hand, as if crying.

He left a large bouquet of white lilies, carnations and baby’s breath on the grave, which is flanked by a bust and a black and white portrait of the dictator.

Another photo showed Mr Marcos Jr sitting in a chair before the tomb as if in contemplation.

Before being interred in Manila, Marcos’ remains were housed for decades in an air-conditioned crypt in the family’s ancestral home in their stronghold of Ilocos Norte.

Mr Marcos Jr has described his father as a “political genius” and portrayed his decades in power as a golden era of peace and economic development.