Marcos, son of Philippines dictator, wins election

STORY: Ferdinand Marcos Jr clinched a stunning landslide victory in the Philippines' presidential election on Monday, bringing the son of a former dictator back to lead the nation.

An unofficial tally showed Marcos, popularly known as "Bongbong," with more than double the votes of his closest rival, setting the stage for a once unthinkable return to rule of the Marcos family, 36 years after its retreat into exile during a "people power" uprising.

Supporters in Manila cheered as news came in.

ISAIAH MIRAFUENTES: "After we vote we go here to support and wait for the result, and now we won, 20 million plus votes for BBM!"

Marcos has presented no real policy platform, campaigning on a simple but ambiguous message of unity.

Marcos was criticized for skipping presidential debates and made few media appearances during the campaign, enabling him to limit scrutiny and control his message via a network of influencers and bloggers.

Critics say the campaign sought to discredit historical accounts of cronyism, plunder and brutality during the two-decade Marcos dictatorship, about half of which was under martial law.

The Marcos family denies siphoning off billions of dollars of state wealth during its time at the helm of what its opponents say was one of Asia’s most famous kleptocracies.

That regime ended in 1986, before many of Marcos Jr's supporters were born. Some are convinced those past narratives were lies invented by his opponents.

His presidency is expected to continue the policies of outgoing leader Rodrigo Duterte, whose ruthless, strongman approach proved popular, helping him to consolidate power.