By Beatrice Puente | News5
(August 17, 2021) – A former senator and the only son of the late dictator on Monday night said he will seek a public office but could not decide on the particular national post as it will be dependent on what position the president and his daughter will run for in the 2022 elections.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who lost the vice presidential race in 2016, said he had started making preparations for the May 2022 presidential polls even before the coronavirus outbreak, visiting several provinces across the country and building political alliances with local officials to broaden his base.
“Tatakbo pa rin ako sa 2022 (and) I will be running for a national position,” Marcos said on Cignal TV’s “Sa Totoo Lang” program on One News channel.
“I always like to keep my options open na lagi tayong nagdedesisyon kapag maliwanag na ang sitwasyon. Naiba ang eleksyon na ito dahil sa pandemya so ‘yung mga ibang factors na wala naman dati, marami nang naiba.”
Marcos first announced his intention to run for a national position in January 2020 while he was in the middle of an electoral appeal against Vice President Leonor Robredo, who edged him out by a slim margin of over 250,000 votes. The election challenge is still ongoing after he opposed the decision of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to throw out his electoral protest last February.
The namesake of the late dictator who ruled the country with an iron fist for two decades, Bongbong, as he is popularly called, said he has kept in constant touch with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was rumored to have plans to seek the presidency. They have not discussed the possibility of running as a tandem in the elections, he added.
“Noong una kaming nagkita noong birthday niya, wala naman kaming pinag-usapan na mag-partner basta magkasama tayo at tignan natin,” Marcos said. “That’s what we are doing but palagay ko kahit sino ang kausap ko, kahit sinong pulitiko, ganun din naman ang pinag-uusapan kaya ‘di ka magtataka na kahit sino, lalo na kung isang potential candidate, ay mapupunta roon ang usapan.”
Political observers said Marcos could not make a decision because President Rodrigo Duterte might run for vice president after some of his Cabinet members, some governors, and his own party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino- Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), have been pushing him not to retire from politics and seek the vice presidency.
Marcos would not want to run against the popular Duterte. His mother wanted him to run for president but he might also avoid challenging the president’s daughter who is a good friend of his sister, Senator Imee Marcos. He might end up running again for a senate seat.
Marcos has remained consistent in pre-election surveys for presidential preference, ranking second to Duterte-Carpio in the recent survey released by the OCTA Research Group. He also ranked third in an earlier survey conducted by Pulse Asia in June, getting majority support from Metro Manila and Luzon, next to Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso.
Critics, particularly the victims of his father’s brutal military regime, have committed to launch efforts to block his possible presidential campaign in the elections, seeking to avoid a repeat of the dark days of the martial law that killed, abused, and jailed thousands of people.
His family also faced corruption cases for the questionable transactions they had during their two-decade rule. Imelda Marcos, the matriarch, was convicted of graft and sentenced to prison in 2018 but remains free after posting a P300,000 bail.
Marcos, for his part, said he understands that the criticisms against him and his family were normal for politicians, stressing it was part of the process.
“Pero kung kailangan ko silang sagutin, sasabihin ko it’s okay to disagree but don’t let your hate overcome your humanity. Sayang ang pagka-Pilipino ninyo. Just do something for the country. You can hate me. you can disagree with me. That’s fine pero tumulong tayo sa tao,” Marcos said.