When Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was swept to power in 2022, human rights activists feared the worst.

Marcos had been a vocal supporter of his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte's drug war that killed thousands of people, and publicly praised his dictator father's rule.

But, as he seeks to strengthen ties with Washington and attract foreign investment, Marcos has presented himself as more moderate than Duterte, who threatened to kill people and repeatedly disparaged human rights.