Four days since the anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, a second Marcos has now announced his bid for the presidency. 

The Marcos-founded Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) nominated Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as its presidential candidate for the 2022 national elections.

The resolution naming KBL’s electoral standard-bearer was officially signed during their Sept. 24 national convention in Binangonan, Rizal. 

Marcos Jr., who did not attend the event, expressed his gratitude to the party in a pre-recorded message.

“I hope [this nomination] is because I have stayed true to the ideals of KBL that [have] been handed down from my father’s time. I hope to continue to work to achieve […] that vision for our country,” the former senator said.

During the online Friday News Forum, Marcos Jr. reiterated that he will “use all available time” to decide on his final plans for the upcoming elections. 

“Patapos na ang mga usapan. I’m very close to coming into a decision which I will announce very soon,” he revealed.

Distasteful timing

After his unsuccessful vice-presidential bid in 2016, the prospect of another electoral campaign in 2022 was always a possibility for Marcos Jr.

In the same week as the 39th anniversary of his father’s infamous public address to enact military rule, the potential return of the Marcoses at the helm of the Philippine government took a major step forward.

Former Philippine Human Rights Commission chairperson and ML victim Etta Rosales expressed how Marcos Jr.’s imminent presidential bid should be viewed as a fearsome sight for the country.

“In this coming elections, (sic) this is what we have to fear: the restoration of this populist kind of thinking. That’s why we say no to the tandem of Marcos-Duterte,” Rosales stressed.

Shortly after the announcement, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) released a statement of dissent on behalf of their coalition of ML victims, peace advocates, militant groups, and civil libertarians.

“Bongbong’s run is a mad attempt for the Marcoses to return and restore their power and rule on a country pillaged and violated during Marcos’s martial law, to further evade their accountability for their crimes, and to promote the historical lies that they have perpetuated,” CARMMA said.

Divisive elections

Amid continuous talks for a united opposition, the possible inclusion of Marcos Jr. in the presidential race could divide the administration vote. 

According to 1Sambayan convenor Atty. Howard Calleja, the opposition considers the former senator’s prospective presidential bid as “good news.” 

“If you look at it, the 16 million votes of Duterte included Bongbong Marcos’ votes from the north. For me, that is also an additional fragmentation of the Duterte vote. The votes are no longer solid for President Duterte, or Sara or whoever his anointed will be,” Calleja said to ABS-CBN News.

In the 2016 elections, Marcos Jr. won roughly 2 million votes from the “Solid North” in the Ilocos region—deemed to be the family’s strongest bulwark.

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo, who won by over 200,000 votes against Marcos Jr., has yet to announce her plans despite public clamor for a possible presidential run.

As of writing, the presidential shortlist for the 2022 national elections includes Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso (Aksyon Demokratiko), Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr. (Partido Reporma), and Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (PDP-Laban).

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