“I humbly accept the challenge of the nation.”
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday made the statement as he formally declared his intention to run for vice president in next year’s elections.
“Taos-puso kong hinaharap ang hamon ng panahon, ang hamon ng bagong henerasyon.
Tinatanggap ko, tinatanggap ko ng buong pagpapakumbaba ang hamon ng bayan (I wholeheartedly face today’s challenge, the challenge of the new generation. I humbly accept the challenge of the nation),” the 58-year-old son and namesake of the former president said in his speech at the Puerta Real in Intramuros, Manila.
Before that, Marcos said he will lead a revolution of the hearts and mind when he succeeds in his quest for the vice presidency.
“Pamumunuan ko ang isang rebolusyon sa isip, sa puso, at sa gawa (I will lead a revolution of the mind, heart and performance),” he said before hundreds of Marcos’ supporters – all clad in red – who blanketed the garden within Manila’s old walled city.
“Ibabalik natin ang respeto at paggalang ng buong mundo sa Pilipino. Ibabalik natin, sa tulong ninyo ang pagkilala sa Pilipino bilang isang matalino at magaling na lahi (We will bring back the respect of the world to the Filipinos. With your help, we will bring back the identity of the Filipino as an intelligent and a great race),” he added.
Marcos said he decided to hold the kick off of his bid for higher office in the historic part of the nation’s capital as he was inspired by the call to patriotism espoused in the film “Heneral Luna” which depicted the life of Ilocano revolutionary leader Gen. Antonio Luna. He said he also wanted to drive home a message that the “revolution is not yet over”.
“Ipaglalaban ko ang integridad ng ating mahal na Pilipinas (I will fight for the integrity of our beloved Philippines),” Marcos said.
The senator was accompanied by his mother, former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos and sisters, Imee and Irene and husband, Greggy Araneta and cousin, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and his wife, former actress Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez.
Imee is the governor of the elder Marcos’ home province of Ilocos Norte where Marcos Jr. also served as vice governor, governor and of late, congressional representative before he won a seat in the Senate in 2010.
Deposed president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile were also present and endorsed the younger Marcos’ bid to follow the footsteps of his father.
The former president was also a congressman from 1949 to 1959 and senator from 1959 to 1965. Marcos Sr. was Senate President from 1963 to 1965 before he was elected President in 1965.
Estrada and Enrile, together with Vice President Jejomar Binay, are the acknowledged pillars of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Estada who spoke first, endorsed Marcos.
“Senator Marcos expect that you will be number one in Manila,” Estrada said. “It’s my honor to endorse the honorable senator, no other than Sen. Bongbong Marcos,” he said in Filipino.
“He has proven his work for more than two decades in public office, he must be given the opportunity to serve the executive branch,” Estrada added in his speech.
Estrada, who was mayor of San Juan town during the Marcos regime, said Manileños are grateful to the Marcoses. He said the former first lady, who was governor of Metro Manila and minister of human settlements distributed 10,000 land titles through its BLISS housing project in 1981.
Estrada said he even emulated the former first lady’s projects by distributing milk and bread to schoolchildren in the impoverished Tondo district.
Among the personalities spotted in the event were television hosts German Moreno and Toni Gonzaga and singer, Dulce.