The only son and namesake of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. on Tuesday declared his intent to run for president, seeking to further his family's return to national dominance.
It will be Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s second attempt at national office that is higher than the Senate seat he held from 2010 to 2016. In 2016, he lost to Vice President Leni Robredo, whose grassroots campaign trumped Bongbong's well-funded bid.
"Together we must work towards a shared vision of our country through COVID and beyond COVID, to find a way through this crisis with the common goal, a vision to guide us and to lead us. And that is why I am today announcing my intention to run for the presidency of the Philippines in the upcoming May 2022 elections," he said during his announcement.
"I will bring that form of unifying leadership back to our country. Hangad kong ibalik ang mapagkaisang paglilingkod na magbubuklod sa ating bansa," he added.
A much-criticized interview with vlogger Toni Gonzaga and TikTok videos that hailed the Marcos years as the Philippines' golden age preceded Bongbong's announcement on Tuesday, which came days after Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno filed their candidacies for president.
Bongbong's son, Sandro Marcos, is running for Ilocos Norte congressman while his elder sister, Imee Marcos is a senator who is eligible for reelection in 2025.
The late dictator is accused of pillaging $10 billion (P502 billion) from state coffers during his nearly three-decade rule that included several years under martial law, leading to the death and disappearance of thousands.