Presumed President-elect Marcos in Australia —media

Ferdinand Marcos Jr speaks with foreign correspondents, including Reuters, two days after winning a landslide presidential election victory in the Philippines, based on an unofficial vote count, at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, May 11, 2022. Reuters / Jerome Morales / archive photo)

SYDNEY – Alleged president-elect Ferdinand Marcos took a trip to Australia, the Age newspaper reported, taking protesters to Melbourne city streets on Tuesday.

Protesters gathered in front of an address in central Melbourne and said they believed Marcos 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 spokesperson for Marcos in Manila did not immediately respond to Reuters questions, but was due to hold a press conference later in the day.

The elected president is the son of the disgraced dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the return to government of the political dynasty has divided the country.

The eldest Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Under his dictatorship, his family and friends amassed about $ 10 billion in illicit wealth, a government-appointed commission found. Tens of thousands of suspected Communist rebels and political enemies were jailed, beaten or killed.

The Age reported to an Australian government spokesperson had confirmed that the Philippines the government had informed them of the private visit.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.

-Reported by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Robert Birsel