The Manila Times : Sandro: I run to serve the Ilocano people

27 March 2022

By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times

FERDINAND Alexander "Sandro" Marcos, eldest son of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., said his family should not be criticized for going after elective positions, as the final decision is still with the Filipino people.

The younger Marcos, who is running against reelectionist Rep. Ria Christina Fariñas, led the local candidates who launched their campaign Friday night during a program at Ilocos Norte capitol grounds in Laoag City.

Speaking to reporters, Sandro said he does not see a problem with political power in the country being concentrated among a few families.

"There is an electoral process. It is a democratic one. So, that is up for the people to decide. It's not for me to decide. It's not for anyone to decide. It's up to the Ilocano people," he said during a chance interview.

"And the reason why I run was not because of any family name, was not because of any agenda, no other than any agenda, but to serve the Ilocano people and make sure that amid this ongoing pandemic, the issues are addressed and the problems are solved," said Sandro, who graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a Master's in Development Studies.

Article II, Section 26 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution prohibits political dynasties: "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law."

Several bills proposing an anti-dynasty law, however, remain pending in Congress.

Sandro's father, Bongbong, earlier claimed that a law against political dynasties would target a "very, very specific" group of people in society.

The former senator added that the "best" anti-dynasty provision in the country is an election.

"The idea of political dynasties I think…again…that is very clear that the political dynasties have a very…there's a very good system or process to mitigate the overstaying, let's say, political dynasties and it's called an election," Marcos Jr. said.

"How many large political dynasties have we seen that [were] there for two generations, maybe more, na bumaliktad o nawala dahil ayaw na ng tao (that were toppled because the people didn't want them anymore)?" he added.

At any rate, Marcos Jr. argued that the term "political dynasty" has never been properly defined in the Philippine setting.

Marcos Jr., instead, put the blame on the term limits on elected officials in the Constitution.

"The term limits makes political dynasties. 'Pag mayor ako, nine years ako. Patapos na ko pero hawak ko pa rin 'yung bayan at marami pa kong gustong gawin. Patatakbuhin 'yung asawa, patatakbuhin 'yung anak, patatakbuhin 'yung pinsan tapos siya tatakbong vice mayor (If I am a mayor, I have nine years. I am approaching the end of my term, but I still want to do a lot. I will ask my wife, children, cousins to run, and then I will run for the vice mayoral post)," Marcos Jr. said.

"That plays a large part in it. Even people have been talking recently and I happen to agree about how the party-list system has been abused. The term limits have something to do with that," he added.

Marcos Jr. is the namesake son of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the country for 20 years. He was ousted in the 1986 EDSA Revolution.

Members of the Marcos family, like Sen. Maria Imelda Josefa "Imee" Marcos, continue to hold political offices.

Her son, Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, is the incumbent governor of the family's bailiwick, Ilocos Norte.

Michael Marcos Keon, a nephew of former president Marcos, is currently the mayor of the city of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.