Presumptive president-elect Marcos in Australia —media

May 17, 2022 - 1:48 PM
Ferdinand Marcos Jr speaks to foreign correspondents, including Reuters, two days after clinching a landslide victory in the Philippines presidential election, based on an unofficial tally of votes, at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, May 11, 2022. (Reuters/Jerome Morales/File Photo)

SYDNEY — Presumptive president-elect Ferdinand Marcos has made a low key trip to Australia, the Age newspaper reported, bringing some protesters onto the streets of the city of Melbourne on Tuesday.

The protesters gathered outside an address in central Melbourne and said they believed Marcos was on a private visit to Australia.

Reuters was unable to confirm this with the Philippine embassy in Australia, which did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Marcos in Manila did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters but was due to hold a news conference later in the day.

The president-elect is the son of disgraced dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the return to rule of the political dynasty has divided the country.

The older Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Under his dictatorship, his family and cronies amassed an estimated $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth, a government-appointed commission found. Tens of thousands of suspected communist rebels and political foes were jailed, beaten or killed.

The Age reported an Australian government spokesperson had confirmed that the Philippines government had informed them of the private visit.

Australia’s foreign affairs department did not respond to a request for comment.

—Reporting by Kirsty Needham;Editing by Robert Birsel