By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Oct. 5 (PNA) – Contrary to his mother’s wish, Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. announced on Monday his decision to join the vice presidential race in the 2016 elections.
”I have decided to run for vice president in the May 2016 elections,” Marcos said in a press statement, a day after former First Lady Imelda Marcos reportedly told her son to run for president.
Marcos said he will run as independent, denying speculations that he will run as running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay or Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
”All these talks of teaming up with certain leading presidential candidates have been mere speculations,” Marcos said.
Senator Marcos, son of former President Ferdinand Marcos, admitted that he flew to Davao City on Wednesday last week but only to consult with Duterte.
”He was gracious enough to promise me his support should I decide to run for vice president. I too will support Mayor Duterte if and when he runs for president,” Marcos said.
Marcos also said Binay invited him to be his vice presidential candidate.
”There were initial talks between our supporters. But any team up with the vice president must be rooted on a shared vision for our country, a common platform of government as well as political perspectives,” Marcos said.
”Unfortunately it would be difficult for me to tame our political differences,” he added.
Marcos is expected to rely on the so-called “Solid North,” being a former governor and congressman from Ilocos Norte.
”Consequently, I have decided to put my political fortune in the hands of the Filipino people. I humbly ask them to judge whether or not I am worthy of their trust to be vice president on the strength of my performance as a public servant in the last 26 years,” Marcos said.
”For one thing, I believe that elected officials have an obligation to our people to help change the course of our nation’s history by banishing the politics of personality which to me is one of the primary causes why our country today has become a soft state where the rich become richer, the poor become poorer, graft and corruption is endemic, the drug menace pervades, injustice is the norm and government incompetence is accepted as the new normal,” he added.
With Marcos’ decision, three senators from the Nacionalista Party (NP) of former Senator Manny Villar will battle it out for the second highest position in the land.
Earlier, NP senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano formally declared intention to run for vice president.
Marcos made his announcement nine hours after Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo accepted the request of the Liberal Party (LP) for her to run as running mate of administration presidential candidate Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II.
The entry of Marcos and Robredo brought the total number of vice presidential aspirants to five and still counting.
Opposition presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay is set to announce his running mate within the week, possibly Senator Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan II.
Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero completes the already five-man vice presidential race. Escudero is the running mate of Senator Grace Poe. (PNA)