Son of Philippines` late dictator dreams of presidency

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 16:20

Manila: The Oxford-educated son of the Philippines` former dictator Ferdinand Marcos wants to follow the footsteps of his namesake father by winning a seat in the upper house of Congress in May as a first step toward the presidency.

"If we succeed in what we are doing now, it wouldn`t be bad to be president. The presidency would be a good cap to one`s political career," Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr told foreign correspondents in Manila.

The 52-year-old congressman from the northern Ilocos Norte province, his father`s bailiwick, recently launched his second attempt to run for senator. He lost in the 1995 polls, claiming he was cheated of a seat in the 24-member Senate.

His father started his career in the post-war Philippines as a congressman, then was a senator before becoming the country`s longest serving president. Marcos ruled as a dictator in the last 14 of his 20-year rule and was ousted in 1986 by an army-backed popular revolt.

"Soldiers dream to become general, bank tellers to become CEOs and I am taking this as far as it can go," Bongbong said.

Some analysts say Bongbong has a good chance of winning a senate seat. Senators are chosen in a nationwide vote and he would benefit from name recall and the machinery of the political party he is allied with, the Nacionalista Party of billionaire senator Manuel Villar.

But he is unlikely to rank among the top winners given voters` memories of his wild parties in the presidential palace during his father`s rule. He acknowledges that period in his life but now says he is a family man focused on his three sons.

Anger against the Marcoses` excesses while in power may have waned over the years but some sectors are careful not to allow the family to reclaim their old glory, with the clan still facing charges of corruption during the late dictator`s rule.
Bongbong is known for promoting Ilocos Norte as a tourist destination and has supported renewable energy efforts, particularly wind power, during his three terms as governor of the province from 1998 until 2007 and as a legislator.
He said he would push for bigger budgets for education, agriculture and anti-corruption measures and help pass a controversial population control measure that gives women an option to plan their families.

IANS



First Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 16:20

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