By Jamaine Punzalan | ABS-CBN News
MANILA — (UPDATED) The son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos on Wednesday filed his certificate of candidacy for president in the May 2022 elections, 6 years after he lost his bid for vice president.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., popularly known as "Bongbong," personally registered his candidacy, accompanied by his family at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.
"I filed my CoC for president just now. I guess that makes it all official," said Marcos.
He has yet to name a running mate as of this posting but mentioned that his party, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, initially planned to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier said he was seeking vice presidency.
"No one has filed for Vice President under PFP, and I’ll be very candid with you, the reason why that is, is that the original plan was for us to adopt PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) for our vice presidential candidate," Marcos revealed.
Duterte over the weekend announced he was retiring from politics.
"Nagbago lahat ng plano kaya’t ngayon, nagkokonsulta kami, ‘yong partido at siyempre lahat ng ating mga kasamahan kung anong dapat gawin," Marcos told reporters.
(All plans changed so now, we are consulting, the party and all my colleagues, on what should be done.)
The PFP will field at least 7 to 9 candidates for senator and will release its initial slate "within days," said Marcos. He said he "cannot say for sure" for now if the party can come up with a full 12-member slate.
Marcos on Tuesday said he would seek the top government job to bring back "unifying leadership" as the country faced the COVID-19 crisis that he dubbed "one of the greatest tests in its history."
His announcement came just hours after he confirmed his transfer to the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, which earlier endorsed him for president.
Since returning to the Philippines in 1991 from a 5-year exile in Hawaii after his father's overthrow in a "People Power" uprising, Marcos and his family has been trying to rebuild its image, which was tainted by human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship.
The government has recovered P174 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth, according to the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
The family denies any wrongdoing. Matriarch Imelda has been found guilty of several counts of graft in lower courts, but has won most of her appeals in higher courts. None of the members of the former first family has been imprisoned.
Bongbong Marcos, 64, is a former governor, congressman, and senator.
CARMMA, a group campaigning against the resurgence of the Marcos family, said Bongbong was "not an innocent bystander during the Marcos dictatorship, directly benefiting while holding positions in crony corporations."
His refusal to apologize to martial law victims and denial of involvement in the military rule "completes Bongbong's self-centered image and blind focus on restoring the stature of the Marcos family to their former glory."
Bongbong has asked the public to "move on and move forward," saying the past cannot be changed and that "blaming others and finding scapegoats are not solutions" to the many problems the country is facing.
Bongbong lost his bid for the vice presidency in 2016, a result he repeatedly challenged unsuccessfully.
He said earlier this month "I know I can win" if he faced off with Vice President Leni Robredo again in 2022.
Robredo, who hails from a decades-old political clique that opposes President Rodrigo Duterte and helped oust Marcos in 1986, is expected to disclose her election plans on Thursday.
The President's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier said Marcos offered to be her 2022 running mate.
The mayor has topped pre-election surveys. Over the weekend, her father said he would retire from politics, potentially paving the way for Duterte-Carpio to contest the country's highest office.
Duterte previously allowed the hero's burial of the Marcos patriarch and praised the late dictator's leadership.
Other candidates seeking to replace Duterte include Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.