The Straits Times says

Setting the Philippines for a new course

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The win that Mr Ferdinand Marcos Jr looks to have secured in the Philippines' presidential election has ignited fears in some quarters of a return to the days of his father's rule. The winning vice-presidential bid of Mrs Sara Duterte-Carpio reinforced those fears as her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, is associated with a deadly war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives. Liberal critics worry about an extended period of authoritarianism emerging in which political lineages control national policy-making. But such fears may be overstated because no political dispensation can hope to restore the past in its entirety. The incoming Filipino administration must, instead, confront the economic and social realities and issues as they exist today.

So much has transpired since president Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown in 1986 that the Philippines essentially is a different country today. Mr Marcos Jr may have highlighted aspects of the past associated with his father's stabilising rule, but still needs to convince citizens and potential investors who are looking to build for the future, not to recreate a contested past. The same principle applies to a slate of new leaders elected in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, who have to grapple with divisive legacies of the past with a clear eye on uniting their people to face current and future challenges.

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