By Javier Joe Ismael and William Depasupil | The Manila Times
FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday formally announced that he will run for president in 2022, further widening the field of wannabes who might include his archrival in the 2016 race for vice president.
Marcos, the son and namesake of his father, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., presented himself as a unifying leader in this time of a global pandemic, saying in a speech, "It is this manner of unifying leadership that can lead us through this crisis, get our people safely back to work for all of us to begin to live our lives once again."
"And that is why I am today announcing my intention to run for the presidency of the Philippines in the upcoming May 2022 elections," Marcos said from his headquarters in Mandaluyong City (Metro Manila).
"I will bring that form of unifying leadership back to our country. Hangad kong ibalik ang mapagkaisang paglilingkod na nagbubuklod sa ating bansa (My wish is for a return of unifying service that will bind the country)," he added.
"Join me in this noblest of causes and we will succeed," the former senator said.
"[As] I speak to you today, the Philippines faces one of the greatest tests in its history…the global pandemic has raced to our country, destroying the lives of people, of families, of entire communities. And if we have learned anything in the time of [coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic], it is that each of us no matter our station is in need of the help of our fellow Filipinos. We must face the challenge as one, as one country as one people," he said
"Together we must work toward a shared vision of our country through Covid and beyond Covid…to find a way through this crisis with a common goal, a vision to guide us and to lead us. I know that this is the manner of unifying leadership that can lead us through this crisis," Marcos added
But he did not announce who his running mate will be.
Marcos did not mention what party he would use as a platform in gunning for the highest position in the land.
The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, Labor Party of the Philippines and Kapisanan ng Pamilyang Pilipino have also urged him to run for President.
Hours before the announcement, the former senator took his oath as member and chairman of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).
Victor Rodriguez, counsel for Marcos, said the PFP and the Nacionalista Party "will still be very important allies as we embrace the policy of having the broadest political alliances."
Marcos ran under the NP banner in 2016.
During its national convention held in Tupi, South Cotabato, the PFP passed a resolution endorsing him as its candidate for President in the May 2022 national elections.
The PFP is a national political party approved by the Commission on Elections in 2018 with 1.5 million members nationwide.
Around 300 of its members in different parts of the country won in the 2019 polls.
Marcos is expected to file his certificate of candidacy anytime this week to formalize his bid, most probably on Thursday, October 7.
His late father and the rest of the Marcoses believe that "7" is a lucky number, thus in almost every important occasion in their lives there is always a number "7."
Marcos now joins other confirmed "presidentiables" Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso and possibly Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Durterte-Carpio.
Marcos narrowly lost to Robredo in the highly contested 2016 battle for the post, a defeat that he challenged before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Robredo is yet to formally accept her nomination as standard-bearer of the 1Sambayanan in the 2022 elections.