Philippine president-elect Marcos Jr in Australia: Media

Philippine president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr's visit brought some protesters onto the streets of Melbourne. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Philippine president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr has made a low-key trip to Australia, the Age newspaper reported, bringing some protesters onto the streets of the city of Melbourne on Tuesday (May 17).

The protesters gathered outside an address in central Melbourne and said they believed Mr Marcos Jr was on a private visit to Australia.

Reuters was unable to confirm this with the Philippine Embassy in Australia, which did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Mr Marcos Jr in Manila did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters but was due to hold a news conference later in the day.

The president-elect is the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and the return to rule of the political dynasty has divided the country.

The older Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Under his dictatorship, his family and cronies amassed an estimated US$10 billion (S$14 billion) in ill-gotten wealth, a government-appointed commission found. Tens of thousands of suspected communist rebels and political foes were jailed, beaten or killed.

An Australian government spokesman confirmed that the Philippines government had informed it of the private visit, the Age reported.

Australia's foreign affairs department did not respond to a request for comment.

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