Former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos was endorsed to run for president next year by two parties. One is a little known party espousing federalism, while the other is a former powerhouse created by his father during the martial law era but which is now a shell of its former self, known only in his home province.
The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) endorsed Marcos as its presidential candidate in the 2022 presidential elections last week, after the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) earlier proclaimed him as their standard bearer.
The PFP is a three-year-old party and claims having 30 elected local officials in its fold. The KBL remains a strong presence in Ilocos Norte but only has Sen. Imee Marcos as its sole elected national official. Imee shares candidacy in several political parties, notably the Nacionalista Party (NP).
While the 64-year-old Marcos thanked both small parties for their endorsements, he did not say that he was accepting their nomination.
Marcos remains a member of the NP headed by billionaire Manny Villar, himself a former House Speaker and presidential candidate.
Marcos is believed to be seeking the blessings and endorsement of Villar, whose wife is a senator and whose son Mark is the Duterte administration’s secretary of public works and highways.
Having no elected national officials, the KBL and PFP cannot deliver the grassroots support needed to win a national post, especially the presidency.
Marcos only said he would soon announce his decision as he was still holding talks with other parties.
“You can’t rush these things,” he said, “I fully intend to take all the available time that I have to make my decision.”
Analysts say Marcos may also be waiting for Vice-president Leni Robredo to decide if she will run for president or not.
Robredo defeated Marcos in the 2016 vice presidential race by a close margin. Marcos contested that loss before the Supreme Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
In a recount of votes in areas determined by the Marcos camp, Robredo’s win was not only confirmed but it was also found that she had earned more votes than had been counted in her favor.
Marcos said earlier this month that if he were to face Robredo in a rematch, he was sure of beating her this time.
For her part, Robredo said that if she were to run, it would be for the sole purpose of making sure no Marcos would ever hold the presidency, while also guaranteeing that there would be no repeat of the Duterte regime.
Robredo reiterated last week that she was ready to run against Marcos or anyone backed by President Duterte.
To this, Marcos said, “If you run, it’s not to fight one person. This is because you believe you can help and you have experience.”
Working against Marcos are the survivors of the atrocities committed by his father’s martial law regime.
One coalition that calls itself the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma), said in a statement: “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’ martial law.”
The group said Marcos’s positioning was intended to “further evade accountability for their crimes and promote the historical lies that they have perpetuated.”
Thus far, only Senators Panfilo Lacson, and Manny Pacquiao, along with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno have officially announced their intention to run for president next year. Sen. Bong Go was nominated by one wing of the PDP-Laban but he has rejected to run as standard bearer, while President Duterte has accepted the nomination to run for vice-president.
The only other confirmed vice-presidential bet is Lacson’s running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto.