FORMER Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said he is eyeing a national post in the 2022 elections.
The son of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, who recently lost his vice-presidential election protest at the Supreme Court, said he had started organizing people on the ground who could help him win.
The 63-year-old Mr. Marcos has been floated as a potential administration bet for President along with presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Ms. Carpio has also named Mr. Marcos as a possible running mate next year.
“We are in constant discussions with all other parties as to how to position ourselves for 2022,” he told an online forum. “Everything is possible right now.”
The former senator narrowly lost the 2016 vice-presidential race to Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo, whom the High Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal favored in Mr. Marcos’s election protest.
Mr. Marcos said he could no longer run with Senator Panfilo M. Lacson and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III since both have officially declared their tandem for the 2022 elections. He added that his campaign would focus on pandemic recovery and food security.
Mr. Lacson on Wednesday became the first politician to announce his presidential ambition, with Mr. Sotto as his running mate. “The first of our priorities is a stronger response to the pandemic,” he said. “We have to prepare for sustainable recovery from this health crisis.”
The pair will also have an anti-corruption drive against “swindlers or exploiters,” while giving local governments a bigger role and more autonomy.
They will also address the country’s rising debt, job losses and increased poverty amid a coronavirus pandemic, illegal drugs and the sea dispute with China.
Meanwhile, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao said he was confident that the Commission on Elections would favor their group as the legitimate representatives of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), citing support from thousands of members.
The faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi earlier said Mr. Pacquiao and his allies were illegitimate officers.
“We believe that we are the legitimate PDP, and more than 100,000 members of PDP believe in and support me,” the boxing champion who is believed to be eyeing the presidency, told an online news briefing in Filipino.
The Cusi faction on Wednesday officially nominated and proclaimed Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go and President Rodrigo R. Duterte as its presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the 2022 elections.
Mr. Duterte, who is barred by law from running for reelection, earlier said he would drop his vice-presidential ambition if his daughter runs for President.
The Pacquiao faction earlier ousted Mr. Duterte as party chairman during a national council held on Aug. 29. Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III replaced Mr. Duterte, who has supported the faction led by Mr. Cusi.
Mr. Duterte has said he would run for vice-president next year so he could continue his campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and insurgency.
PDP-Laban earlier said the President had agreed to “make the sacrifice and heed the clamor of the people” by running for vice-president.
In the Philippines, the President and vice-president are elected separately and may come from opposing political parties. The vice-president usually becomes powerless unless the President gives him a key post in his Cabinet. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan and K. A. T. Atienza