Philippines election vote
© Reuters
Filipinos gather to cast their votes at a polling precinct during the national elections in Quezon City, Philippines, on Monday, May 9, 2022.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr was heading for a landslide victory in the Philippines presidential election on Monday, an unofficial tally showed.

After nearly half of the 70,000 polling stations submitted their results, Marcos Jr had more than twice the number of votes for his main rival Leni Robredo, according to local media, citing figures provided by the Commission on Elections.

Nearly 40 years after his father and namesake was deposed by a popular revolt and the family chased into exile, the younger Marcos looks set to complete the clan's remarkable comeback from pariahs to the peak of political power.

Ten candidates are vying to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte in elections seen by many as a make-or-break moment for the Philippines' fragile democracy.

But only Marcos Jr and his rival Leni Robredo, the incumbent vice president, have a credible chance of winning.

From before dawn, mask-clad voters formed long queues to cast their ballots in 70,000 polling stations across the archipelago.

Polls officially closed at 7:00 pm (1100 GMT), but voters within 30 metres (33 yards) of precincts will still be allowed to cast their ballot, election officials said.

At Mariano Marcos Memorial Elementary School in the northern city of Batac, the ancestral home of the Marcoses, voters waved hand fans to cool their faces in the tropical heat.

Bomb sniffer dogs swept the polling station before Marcos Jr arrived with his younger sister Irene and eldest son Sandro.

They were followed by the family's flamboyant 92-year-old matriarch Imelda, who was lowered from a white van while wearing a long red top with matching trousers and slip-on flats.

Comment: Imelda Marcos, Wikipedia:
She and her family gained notoriety for living a lavish lifestyle during a period of economic crisis and civil unrest in the country.[26] She spent much of her time abroad on state visits, extravagant parties, and shopping sprees, and spent much of the State's money on her personal art, jewelry and shoe collections - amassing 3,000 pairs of shoes.[27][28][29]

She and her husband Ferdinand hold the Guinness World Record for the "Greatest Robbery of a Government".[30][31][32] The subject of dozens[33] of court cases around the world,[14] she was eventually convicted of corruption charges in 2018 for her activities during her term as governor of Metro Manila; the case is under appeal.[34][35]

Sandro, 28, who is running for elected office for the first time in a congressional district in Ilocos Norte province, admitted the family's history was "a burden".

But he added: "It's one that we also try to sustain and protect and better as we serve."

Casting her ballot for Robredo at a school in the central province of Camarines Sur, Corazon Bagay said the former congresswoman deserved to win.

"She has no whiff of corruption allegations," said the 52-year-old homemaker.

"She's not a thief. Leni is honest."

Supporters greeted Robredo as she arrived at the same school to vote.