The son of the late Philippine dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, has announced his intention of run in the country's presidential elections next year. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. aims to return his family to power after his father was ousted by a civilian-backed military revolt more than 35 years ago.
Marcos announced his bid for the presidency on Tuesday, stating that he intends to bring back a "unifying leadership" to the country. Marcos also touched on the current COVID-19 situation in the country, stating that he wants all Filipinos to face the challenge as "one country" and as "one people."
"I know that it's 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," Marcos said.
Marcos has been expected to announce his presidential plans for months, including a possible tandem with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte - the daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Marcos did not say who he will be running with during the elections. Marcos said he is engaged in "many, many talks" about his possible political alliances.
The younger Marcos has been a politician even when his late father was still the president of the Philippines under Martial Law. In 1980, when he was just 23 years old, Marcos Jr. became the vice governor of Ilocos Norte province. He later became a governor, a representative, and a senator for one term from 2010 to 2016. All in all, Marcos has been working in government for 28 years.
In 2016, Marcos ran for vice president but lost to current Vice President Leni Robredo. Marcos disputed his loss before the Supreme Court but his election protest was later junked.
Marcos's presidential bid had sparked anger and criticism among some in the public, particularly those who were alive and suffered during his father's brutal reign. A group representing political prisoners under Marcos' dictatorship said his bid only adds salt to the wounds of the victims. The group added that his big also attempts to absolve and erase all the sins of his father and his family.
A previous report published by Amnesty International estimated that about 70,000 people had been illegally detained during Marcos' rule. About 34,000 of those had experienced torture, while another 3,240 had disappeared and were presumed dead.
Marcos has continued to dismiss all of the accusations, including reports of the atrocities and human rights violations committed during his father's rule.