Presidential Adviser for Poverty Alleviation Larry Gadon, a Marcos loyalist, wrongly claimed during a media forum last Aug. 8 that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the first majority president in Philippine electoral history.
VERA Files Fact Check previously debunked two similar claims by Marcos Jr. in his June 2022 inaugural speech and during a visit to Cambodia five months later that he had the “biggest electoral mandate” in Philippine history for having received the most number of votes in the last elections. Official records show Marcos won with 31.63 million votes or 58.77% of 53.81 million total votes cast in the May 2022 polls.
Asked if his appointment as presidential adviser was the reason he spoke calmly during a forum on Aug. 8, Gadon, a disbarred lawyer known for spewing vulgar remarks that led to his disqualification from practicing law, responded:
“Ngayon [n]analo si President Bongbong Marcos, ‘di tiklop ‘yong mga bibig nila (critics). In fact, for the first time in the history of Philippine elections, ngayon lang tayo nagkaroon ng majority president. In all other national elections, puro plurality lang, kaya hindi talaga makuha ‘yong suporta ng buong bayan. Eh, ngayon you have a majority president garnering more than 31 million votes.”
(Now that President Bongbong Marcos has won, their [critics] mouths are shut. In fact, for the first time in the history of Philippine elections, it is the first time we have a majority president. In all other national elections, it was mostly plurality, that’s why it was hard to get the support of the people. Now you have a majority president garnering more than 31 million votes.)
Source: Kamuning Bakery Forum official Facebook page, Pandesal Forum with Sec. Larry Gadon, Aug. 8, 2023, watch from 48:04 to 48:32
Although Marcos Jr. did obtain the highest number of votes in the history of Philippines presidential elections, Quezon was the first president elected by a majority of Filipinos with 67.99% of the total votes cast in 1935, while Ramon Magsaysay holds the record for the president who won with the highest percentage of 68.90% which he gained in the 1935 elections.
A majority president obtains more than 50% of the total votes cast, based on the definition of a majority election system by Encyclopedia Britannica and ACE Electoral Knowledge Network. In the Philippines, however, the president and other elective positions, excluding the party-list representative, are determined by the highest number of votes or through a plurality system, not by the highest percentage of vote share.
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Kamuning Bakery Forum official Facebook account, Pandesal Forum with Sec. Larry Gadon, Aug. 8, 2023
Supreme Court official website, Court Unanimously Disbars Atty. Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon for Misogynistic, Sexist, Abusive and Repeated Intemperate Language, June 27, 2023
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office official website, Philippine Electoral Almanac Revised and Expanded (Archived file), 2015
Philippine Presidency Project official website, Results of the Past Presidential & Vice-Presidential Elections (archived webpage), accessed on Aug. 18, 2022
House of Representatives official website, CONGRESS PROCLAIMS BBM-SARA AS DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT, VP, May 25, 2022
Official Gazette of the Philippines, Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, June 9, 2010
Senate of the Philippines, Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, May 30, 2016
Senate of the Philippines, Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, May 24, 2022
Official Gazette of the Philippines, PBBM appoints Atty. Larry Gadon as Presidential Adviser for Poverty Alleviation, June 26, 2023
Manuel L. Quezon III official Twitter account, As the numbers come in, its the percentage of the total that will matter, May 9, 2022
ACE Electoral Knowledge Network official website, Majority Electoral Systems, accessed on Aug. 17, 2023
Encyclopedia Britannica official website, Election – Representation, Voter Choice, Accountability, accessed on Aug. 17, 2023
(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)