Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the late Philippine dictator, on Wednesday declared victory in this week's presidential election, expressing his resolve to promote economic growth and improve education.

Marcos, popularly known as "Bongbong," said in his press conference that 31 million Filipinos had "voted for unity." He also said in a televised speech he will tap Sara Duterte-Carpio, his vice presidential running mate and daughter of the country's incumbent leader Rodrigo Duterte, as education minister.

Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (R), the son and the namesake of the late Philippine dictator, waves to voters at a polling station in Batac, Ilocos Norte Province, on May 9, 2022, as polls to choose the Philippines' new leader open across the country. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"Bongbong looks forward to working across the Philippines, and with international partners and organizations, to address critical issues facing the country, and to begin delivering for the Filipino people," his spokesman, Vic Rodriguez, said earlier in a statement.

The spokesman quoted the 64-year-old as saying he wants to tell the world, "Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions."

While the Marcos-Duterte alliance has led them to their electoral triumph, victims of the atrocities committed while the late Marcos was in power have voiced concerns. Other countries are also closely watching whether respect for human rights and the rule of law will be ensured under the incoming administration.

His father's 21-year rule was marked by rampant rights abuses, torture, killings and embezzlement of public funds. The 1986 pro-democracy "people power" revolution toppled his dictatorship and sent the Marcos family into exile.

On Tuesday, Marcos visited the late dictator's grave and voiced his appreciation to the Filipino people for giving him the landslide victory and to his father, who has been "his inspiration throughout his life and taught him the value and meaning of true leadership," according to a statement released by his team.