SEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said he is running for public office to continue to provide the quality of service introduced by his father, the late former president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., not because he and his family want to return to power.
Marcos made the statement in reaction to President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s remark on Tuesday that the Marcoses are attempting to claw their way back to Malacañang.
In a forum with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap), Aquino said he does not believe that the Marcoses continue to enjoy wide support from the people.
The elder Marcos was the nation’s leader from 1966 until his ouster via “people power” in 1986.
The younger Marcos on the other hand, said the notion that he and his family members are running for public office because they want to return to power has not entered their minds.
“We are not after going back to power. It is not an issue for us. We just want to continue to serve our country and to think of ways on how to improve the lives of the Filipino people,” Marcos told ABS-CBN News on Tuesday night.
Aside from Sen. Marcos, his mother Imelda is a congressional representative of Ilocos Norte, where his elder sister Imee is governor.
Marcos noted that he could have chosen to live a private life, put up a business and devote all his time to his family but he feels that he is destined to stay as a public servant.
THE Nacionalista Party (NP) may eventually endorse a vice presidential candidate if it sees any of its three party members who are running for the position showing a strong chance of winning the vice presidential race in 2016, Sen. Cynthia Villar said also on Tuesday.
Villar, a member of the NP and wife of the party president, former senator Manuel Villar, said they will look at survey ratings in the coming months before deciding on the matter.
Three NP members are standing for the vice presidential post–Senators Marcos, Antonio Trillanes 4th and Alan Peter Cayetano. All three filed their certificates of candidacy as independent candidates, but Villar said they are nonetheless considered as NP members.
“The party can only endorse one for every position. We opt not to issue [one], that is why all of them filed as independent. But it doesn’t mean that they are not NP,” Villar said during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado news forum.
Marcos was the purported running mate of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, while Trillanes has chosen to support the presidential bid of Sen. Grace Poe.
Cayetano is the only candidate who does not have a presidential candidate after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte decided not to join the presidential derby.
When asked if she agrees with the observation that Marcos enjoys a distinct advantage over the other candidates vying for the vice presidency, Villar said Marcos has a bailiwick and a solid core of supporters that other candidates do not have.
“He [Marcos] has a bailiwick. That has always been his advantage,” she added.
Of the six prominent candidates for Vice President, only Marcos is from the Ilocos Region while Senators Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan and Trillanes and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robrero are from the Bicol Region.
Cayetano has no known bailiwick other than Taguig City (Metro Manila), where his wife is currently mayor.
If in case the party decided to support Marcos’ vice presidential bid, Villar said, the NP would only campaign for Marcos, not for his running mate.