In his inaugural speech, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. said that his electoral victory was the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy.  This claim needs context.

CLAIM:  Bongbong Marcos’s win is the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy.
RATING: MISSING CONTEXT

In his inaugural address, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. said:

That is why it reverberated and amplified as it did, to deliver the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy.

This claim needs better context.

Marcos Jr. won the presidency in the 2022 presidential election by getting 31,629,783 votes or 58.77% of total votes cast.

This is indeed the biggest number of votes cast in favor of a winning presidential candidate in the electoral history of the Philippines.

However, Marcos, Jr. did not get the biggest share of the votes, percentage-wise, in a Philippine presidential election.

That distinction belongs to the late dictator, kleptocrat and namesake of the current president, Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. 

According to the Philippine Almanac of Electoral History, published in 2013 by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office and the book “Elections in Asia and the Pacific: A Data Handbook”, Vol. 2 South East Asia, East Asia and the South Pacific, edited by Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz and Christof Hartmann, published in 2001 by the Oxford University Press, Marcos Sr., the standard bearer of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), won the 1981 elections, garnering 18,309,360 votes or 88 percent of the total votes cast. The runner-up, Alejo S. Santos of the Nacionalista Party – Roy Wing got only 1,716,449 or 8.3 percent of the total votes cast.

This is considered the most lopsided election in the history of the country.  However, the opposition did not participate in the election deeming the exercise a sham.

The second biggest electoral victory in the country was set by President Manuel L. Quezon when he won the 1941 election over Juan Sumulong Sr. Quezon, the standard bearer of the Nacionalista Party, got 1,340,320 votes or 81.78 percent of the total votes cast. Sumulong, the standard bearer of the Partido Democrata Nacionalista, got 298,608 votes or 18.22 percent.  

Below are the statistics of past presidential elections in the country with the winning candidates’ names in bold. Aside from the books mentioned above, figures cited came from the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines and other relevant websites.

Candidate

Total votes won

Percentage

2016 Election

Rodrigo Duterte (PDP-Laban)

16,601,997

39.01%

Mar Roxas (LP)

9,978,175

23.45%

2010 Election

Benigno Aquino III (LP)

15,208,678

42.08%

Joseph Estrada (PMP)

9,487,837

26.25%

2004 Election

Gloria Arroyo (LAKAS-NUCD)

12,905,808

40%

Fernando Poe, Jr. (KNP)

11,782,232

36.51%

1998 Election

Joseph Estrada (LAMMP)

10,722,295

39.86%

Jose de Venecia, Jr. (LAKAS-NUCD)

4,268,483

15.87%

1992 Election

Fidel Ramos (LAKAS-NUCD)

5,342,521

23.58%

Miriam Santiago (PRP)

4,468,173

19.72%

1986 Election *

Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. (KBL)

11,021,336 (Comelec)

10,062,802
(Namfrel)

53.20% (Comelec)
47.57%

(Namfrel)

Corazon Aquino (UNIDO)

9,957,400 (Comelec)

10,670,962
(Namfrel)

48.06% (Comelec)

51.51%(Namfrel)

1981 Election

Ferdinand Marcos (KBL)

18,309,360

88.02%

Alejo Santos (NP-Roy)

1,716,449

8.3%

1969 Election

Ferdinand Marcos (NP)

5,017,343

62.2%

Sergio Osmena, Jr. (LP)

3,043,122

37.8%

1965 Election

Ferdinand Marcos (NP)

3,861,324

51.9%

Diosdado Macapagal (LP)

3,187,752

42.9%

1961 Election

Diosdado Macapagal (LP)

3,554,840

55.0%

Carlos Garcia (NP)

2,902,966

45.0%

1957 Election

Carlos Garcia (NP)

2,072,257

41.3%

Jose Yulo (LP)

1,386,829

27.6%

1953 Election

Ramon Magsaysay (NP)

2,912,992

68.9%

Elpidio Quirino (LP)

1,313,991

31.1%

1949 Election

Elpidio Quirino (LP)

1,803,808 

50.9%

Jose Laurel, Sr (NP)

1,318,320

37.2%

1946 Election

Manuel Roxas (LP)

1,333,006

53.9%

Sergio Osmeña (NP)

1,129,994

45.7%

1941 Election

Manuel Quezon (NP)

1,340,000

81.8%

Juan Sumulong (PDN)

298,000

18.2%

1935 Election

Manuel Quezon (NP)

694,546

68.0%

Emilio Aguinaldo (NSP)

179,402

17.5%

 

— Rommel F. Lopez

* Numbers and percentages of the 1986 Elections are projections since the official tally as declared by the Comelec during the official canvassing at the Batasan was disputed. Figures cited in were from Elections in Asia and the Pacific: A Data Handbook

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