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Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Image Credit: Reuters

Manila: The leaders of the world’s major powers — United States, China and Russia — have congratulated presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and expressed readiness to work with the incoming administration.

Preliminary results show Marcos Jr. is winning the May 9 elections by a landslide with more than 31 million votes.

Washington stated said it would seek “close security" ties with the Philippines under the next president, the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr — but made clear it would raise human rights as well.

The White House said US President Joe Biden spoke with Marcos Jr in a phone call and congratulated him for his apparent victory in the May 9 elections.

“President Biden underscored that he looks forward to working with the president-elect to continue strengthening the US-Philippine alliance, while expanding bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including the fight against COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, promoting broad-based economic growth and respect for human rights,” the White House stated.

Xi congratulates Marcos Jr

In a Facebook post, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said he “had the honour to convey the congratulatory messages from Chinese President Xi Jinping to President-elect Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. and from Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan to Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, respectively.”

Xi pointed out that China and the Philippines are neighbours “linked by the sea and partners that have stood together through hardships.”

Putin’s message

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also congratulated Marcos Jr. on winning the Philippines presidential election, the Kremlin press service TASS stated on Thursday.

He added that the relations between the Philippines and Russia were "traditionally friendly”.

“I hope that your efforts as head of state will facilitate further development of the fruitful cooperation between Russia and the Philippines in various areas. This meets in full the interests of our nations and is in line with the endeavors to strengthen security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Putin said.

Last March, Marcos had called for "sobriety to prevail" and "a peaceful resolution" to the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine, appealing on Russia "to respect Ukraine’s freedom and its citizens’ democratic way of life”, the Philippine News Agency reported.

The proclamation of the new president and vice president will be made by Congress, which is tasked to canvass the vote for the two executive positions. Upon proclamation, the incoming president will be known as the president-elect of the Philippines. Marcos has secured double the votes of his rival Vice President Leni Robredo in the recently held elections.