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2022 PRESIDENTIABLES | Bongbong Marcos: Unfazed by controversies

by Mark Angelo Ching
May 3, 2022
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Bongbong Marcos, #PHElections2022, PEPtionary
Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. refuses to engage in debates with fellow presidential aspirants, but continues to be the frontrunner according to polls. Working to his advantage are the political clout and solid supporters brought about by his family name.
PHOTO/S: Bongbong Marcos Facebook
ILLUSTRATION: Igi Talao

Name: Bongbong Marcos

Full Name: Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.

Age: 64

Current Occupation: With business interests

Spouse: Louise Araneta

Running Under: Partido Federal ng Pilipinas

Running Mate: Sara Duterte

Did you know that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was once a movie star? When he was seven years old, he appeared in a film called Iginuhit ng Tadhana.

The feature film, which premiered on the 24th of August in 1965, was about his father, then Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The young Marcos played himself in the film, where in a speech he said he would become a politician like his father.

It was quite prophetic, as that kid is now running for the highest position in the land.

BORN TO POLITICS

Politics runs in Marcos Jr.’s blood.

When he was born on September 13, 1957, his father was already a congressman for the Second District of Ilocos Norte.

And then when Marcos Jr. was two years old, his father became a senator.

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Marcos Jr. was eight years old when his father was elected as President in the 1965 presidential elections.

According to historians, the film Iginuhit ng Tadhana helped the senior Marcos win the elections against the incumbent President Diosdado Macapagal, who was running for a second term.

Five years later, in 1970, Marcos Jr. was sent to live and study at the Worth School, an all-boys Benedictine institution in England.

He was there when his father placed the Philippines under martial law in 1972.

In 1975, Marcos Jr. matriculated at the University of Oxford to get a Bachelor of Arts in PPE, which consists of philosophy, politics and economics (PPE). He was not able to finish the course.

Marcos maintains in interviews, however, that he got the Oxford degree.

But economist Winnie Monsod contradicted his statement. In one of her weekly columns, Monsod said she was asked to tutor Marcos Jr. because he flunked his politics and economics exams at the end of his freshman year.

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Then at the make-up exam, Marcos Jr. was able to pass economics, but still failed politics. As a result, he was disallowed to continue studying for the degree and was only given a Special Diploma.

In 1979, Marcos entered Wharton to get an MBA. He also failed to finish the program.

BECOMING A POLITICIAN

Marcos Jr.’s own political career started during the martial law regime. He was 23 years old when he became the vice governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980.

In 1983, he was installed as the governor of the same province. He held that position until 1986, when the People Power Revolution ousted his father from Presidency.

The Marcos family fled to Hawaii to escape the Philippine authorities and lived there in exile until 1989.

In that year, then Philippine President Cory Aquino allowed the return of the Marcoses to the country to face various charges.

Upon his return to the Philippines in 1991, Marcos Jr. immediately sought to rebuild his political career.

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He ran and was elected as the representative of Ilocos Norte in 1992. In 1995, he ran for a Senate seat but lost at 16th place.

In 1998, he returned to his post as governor of Iocos Norte. He was elected three consecutive times. His term ended in 2007 at which time he once again was elected as a congressman.

In 2010, he was finally elected as Senator, finishing in 7th place.

Among the notable laws that Marcos authored during his long stint at the legislative branch are the following:

SB No. 3365 / RA No. 10586: Anti-drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2012

SB No. 2849 / RA No. 10606: National Health Insurance Act

SB No. 2796 / RA No. 10175: Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2011

SB No. 2625 / RA No. 10364: Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2010

SB No. 2834 / RA No. 10692: PAGASA Modernization Act of 2015

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RUNNING FOR VP

In 2015, Marcos Jr. announced he would run for vice president in the 2016 National Elections as the running mate of the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

He ran as an independent candidate.

Survey results from the SWS at the start of 2016 showed that Marcos Jr. was statistically tied with the frontrunner, Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

But then Escudero’s numbers dropped by late March of 2016, making Marcos the new frontrunner.

It proved too early to call, however, because another opponent rose in the surveys.

By mid-April 2016, Leni Robredo, who started at a far third place, statistically tied with Marcos Jr.’s poll numbers.

Then in the May 2016 elections, it was Robredo who came out to be the winner with 14,418,817 or 35.11% of the votes.

Marcos lost by a narrow margin, getting 14,155,344 or 34.47% of the votes.

Marcos Jr. refused to accept his loss. Maintaining he was cheated, he filed an electoral protest on June 29, 2016 to the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

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Less than two years later, on April 2, 2018, the tribunal conducted a manual recount of votes cast in the three provinces that Marcos Jr. himself chose—Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

This recount only confirmed his loss and showed Robredo’s votes even increased by 15,000.

Finally, on February 16, 2021, the PET unanimously dismissed Marcos Jr.’s electoral protest for lack of merit.

CORRUPTION CONTROVERSIES

Documented stories of corruption have hounded Marcos Jr. and his family for decades.

When he was studying in Wharton in 1979 to 1980, it was said he had a monthly allowance of $10,000 that was sourced from government funds.

According to a report from the United States Customs, the Marcoses fled to Hawaii carrying suitcases and crates stuffed with about $7.7 million in cash and valuables.

Upon arriving in Hawaii, the family tried to withdraw $200 million from a secret Swiss bank account, but the Swiss government had frozen all the bank accounts related to the Marcoses.

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In 2014, it was revealed that Marcos Jr. was involved in the pork-barrel scam.

Janet Lim Napoles, the supposed mastermind of the scam, implicated the then senator, alleging that he channeled PHP100 million through four fake non-government organizations.

Then in 2018, his mother Imelda Marcos was convicted on seven counts of graft for funneling $200 million to Swiss foundations when she was the governor of Metro Manila in the 1970s.

Imelda was not arrested; the Philippine National Police let her off because of her old age. She was allowed to post bail without any incident.

Marcos and his family have also been accused of funding massive efforts of historical revisionism on socilal media, so as to distort history and help them crawl back into power.

Now in 2022, Marcos Jr. is running for president against Robredo. And it looks like he has a better chance because he's been massively leading in the surveys against his opponent, who is positioned at a far second.

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With less than a week to go until the May elections, will he finally be victorious or will his opponents catch up?

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Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. refuses to engage in debates with fellow presidential aspirants, but continues to be the frontrunner according to polls. Working to his advantage are the political clout and solid supporters brought about by his family name.
PHOTO/S: Bongbong Marcos Facebook
ILLUSTRATION: Igi Talao
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