Former Philippines senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. declared on Tuesday that he will run for president in next year’s elections, following weeks of speculation about his future in politics.
Marcos Jr., the only son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the Philippines for almost two decades until being overthrown in 1986, announced his presidential bid in a video post on social media.
“It is this manner of unifying leadership that can lead us through this crisis, get our people safely back to work, for all of us to begin to live our lives once again,” the 64-year-old said during his speech, presenting himself as a unifying leader who as president could help heal the country from its CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus “crisis.”
“Let us bring Filipinos back to one another in service of our country, facing the crisis and the challenges of the future together,” the longtime politician said. “Join me in this noblest of causes and we will succeed,” he added.
Marcos Jr. is an ally to incumbent Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who announced last week that he will not be running for vice president in the 2022 elections and will instead retire from politics. Marcos Jr. is the fourth and latest politician to confirm their intention to run to succeed Duterte.
In the Philippines, presidents are limited by the constitution to a single six-year term and opponents had said they would question the legality of Duterte’s announced vice-presidential run before the Supreme Court if he pursued his bid.
Manny Pacquiao, a former boxing world champion who announced in September he is retiring from the sport, has already confirmed he will run for president. The Mayor of Manila, Francisco Domagoso, also declared his candidacy.
The political career of Marcos Jr. has spanned over three decades—as provincial governor, congressman, and senator—since his family’s return from exile after fleeing a 1986 “people power” uprising. His father died in Hawaii in 1989.
The Marcos family is among the country’s most famous dynasties and despite its fall from grace, it has retained far-reaching and powerful political connections.
Marcos Jr.’s sister is a senator and former governor and their 92-year-old mother Imelda, famous for her vast shoe collection, was a four-term congresswoman.
One relative is the current ambassador to the United States, another is a high-profile lawmaker.
Reuters contributed to this report.