By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin
Senator Ferdinand ‘’Bongbong’’ R. Marcos Jr. said he risked his political career when he decided to seek the vice presidency instead of seeking a second six-year term in the 24-member Senate.
In case he loses in the multi-cornered fight for the post of Vice President, Marcos has no fall back position as his first six-year term ends on June 30, 2016.
Under the 1987 Constitution, a senator stays at the Senate for two consecutive six-year terms. He, however, can return to the Senate after skipping a senatorial election year.
Three senators – Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Gregorio B. Honasan II and Antonio ‘’Sonny’’ F. Trillanes IV-can return to the Senate if they lose in the vice presidential race since their terms end in 2019.
Marcos, Trillanes, and Cayetano belong to the Nacionalista Party (NP) while Honasan is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party.
Marcos, who won as senator in the 2010 elections, would complete his first term as senator in 2016.
Appearing in ABS-CBN’s morning show, “Umagang Kay Ganda,” Marcos acknowledged his predicament.
“That is right, some of the candidates (for Vice President) can simply return to their (Senate) post if they don’t win. That does not apply in my case. That is why I have to be successful if I want to continue my service to our people,” Marcos said.
While there is an impression that the Vice President is a mere “spare tire” of the President, Marcos said it is no longer true.
“We used to vote for the President and Vice President together. But when the Constitution mandated a separate vote for the two positions I believe it expanded the role of the Vice President. Now the Vice President can do a lot more,” Marcos explained
Earlier, Marcos said that if elected Vice President he would be a team player and work with whoever is elected President to usher national unity and address pressing problems such as the drug menace, rising prices, criminality and lack of jobs, among others.
“I think the position of Vice President will provide me with the opportunity to continue my own brand of public service, so I think I made the right decision,” said Marcos.
Marcos said it was this desire to do more to provide a better life for the Filipino people that prompted him to risk his entire political career and run for Vice President instead of the safer option of seeking a re-election in the Senate.
A survey conducted by a newspaper on the preference of voters for senatorial candidates in the 2016 polls ranked Sen. Marcos in 3rd to 4th place, tied with come backing senator Panfilo M. Lacson, with re-electionist Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III on top place and Sen. Ralph Recto in second place.
Meanwhile, the young Marcos said he is eager to take on his critics who take issue of his being a Marcos after experiences during martial law started to refloat after declaring his bid for the vice presidency.
Marcos said he is not inclined to back out from any discussion regarding martial law which to the senator is a non-issue.
A political analyst, Ramon Casiple, said Marcos’ presidential candidate, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, has come under fire after stating that the ‘’Marcoses don’t owe us an apology.’’
Casiple said he is one of the many victims of the Marcos martial rule. He cited the many deaths of progressives during the martial law period.
Sen. Marcos said the more pressing agenda that should first be talked about in any forum concerning national and social issues are the present problems of the people.
“What should be taken up are issues that affect the daily lives of Filipinos,” he stressed.
He said the Filipinos’ primary concerns are illegal drugs, high prices, graft and corruption, and joblessness while his family background is an issue only to politicians and groups.
“What the Filipinos want to hear are solutions to problems such as unemployment, illegal drugs, high prices of commodities and corruption. In Manila, the daily snail-paced traffic, slow internet connection, telephone systems, the inefficient rail transit system. The people demand government action on these pressing problems,” Marcos added