by Alito L. Malinao

Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., popularly known in the Philippines by his nickname Bongbong, has announced that he will seek a higher post in next year’s national election.

“The discussions I have been having with different groups, with other individuals, have really centered on higher office,” Marcos, 57, said in a television interview on Wednesday.

Asked directly if he would run for vice president or president, Marcos said, “It’s extremely difficult to make a decision at this point.”

But political observers here said he is definitely going to run for president since his supporters have already activated the old political party machine of his family.

Legally, Marcos can still run for re-election as senator for another six-year term but his avid supporters, particularly in the Ilocos Region in the north of the country, his political bailiwick, said it is about time that Marcos should follow the footsteps of his father, the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos.

His mother, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, 86, is still representing the province of Ilocos Norte in the lower house of the Philippine Congress, has openly urged her son to run for president.

Under what he termed as “constitutional authoritarianism,” Marcos’ father ruled the Philippines for two decades until February 1986, when his government was toppled.

After he was deposed, Marcos and his family, including the young Bongbong, fled to the United States. Three years later, the Marcos patriarch died in Hawaii in 1989.

Aging supporters are saying that during his long tenure, Marcos was able to lay the foundation of a strong economic base in the country.

It was Marcos who established diplomatic ties with China.
Unlike his father who was a brilliant lawyer, the son is an economist by training.

He has taken up Business Administration at Wharton School of Business in the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. and has an undergraduate special diploma in social studies at Oxford University in England.

Bongbong Marcos was elected senator in July 2010. Before that, he was governor and congressman of his home province of Ilocos Norte. Marcos, who now heads of the Senate committee on local government, has recently filed Senate Bill No. 2894, a substitute bill for the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The BBL, which is the brainchild of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, has been assailed for its unconstitutional provisions and for disregarding the interest of other sectors in Mindanao in the southern Philippines such as the Christians and the indigenous people.

Marcos said his substitute bill was filed “in accordance with the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the aspirations of the Muslim Filipinos and all indigenous cultural communities for local self-governance.”

Although he has been lagging behind other presidential candidates in surveys, his diehard supporters are saying that another Marcos can still become president of the country.

But it will definitely be an uphill fight for Marcos in the May 2016 elections since he will be running against formidable opponents, such as Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party, who is being backed up by President Aquino.

Other possible presidential contenders are Senator Grace Poe, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, former Senator Panfilo Lacson and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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