The Aquino dynasty continues through elections in Philippines

Written by By Staff Writer

By Alvin T. Sacinaga, CNN

With allegations of vote-buying and rigging looming large over the Philippines presidential election in May, President Rodrigo Duterte could also be due an unwelcome humiliation as a legacy of the record-shattering term of his controversial predecessor, Benigno Aquino.

Bong Revilla, 42, a former senator who is the daughter of former President Joseph Estrada, confirmed on Wednesday that she had been selected by the party of Duterte’s rival, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, as her running mate.

In 2013, Estrada (long-time political rival of Duterte) cited his growing support in the polls as a reason for his unexpectedly-successful return to the presidency, having served one term from 2001.

The legislature would then approve his confirmation, meaning Aquino could serve out his six-year term, but barely. Aquino himself quipped at the time: “I am going to govern, but I am never going to run for another term.”

Marked by controversy

The Aquino succession has been marked by controversy.

Estrada repeatedly clashed with the head of the commission that oversees election campaigns, former Congresswoman Doy Joaquin Sandoval, while Aquino was the Secretary General of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In 2013, Sandoval revealed an email purportedly from Estrada ordering the payment of legislators $500 for vote-buying at a government sponsored rally.

Aquino was rumored to have orchestrated the email release. The same year, Sandoval – who was appointed to the Comelec by former President Fidel Ramos — said his decision to respond to the email was due to “political jealousy.”

The series of controversies culminated in the resignation of Aquino as Comelec Commissioner in May 2014.

Aquino was said to have had been making frequent forays to the presidential palace to tell President Estrada that he was destined to fail at the polls and needed to follow suit.

Aquino remained in the public eye and refused to concede the 2015 election on election night. He even pledged to return in May after one more term of his own presidency.

At the time he said: “I will still be here at 9pm, hoping that I can take a curtain call, have a snack before I begin to believe it and start my second term as president… and to put up my final show before the silver curtains fall on the silver screen.”

According to polls compiled by the Philippine Center for Public Opinion Studies, President Aquino had 60% support compared to Duterte’s 12%.

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