By Xave Gregorio
Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos is still open to running for an elective post, her son, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. revealed.
Bongbong said in a media forum Friday (August 24) that while “by right” his mother should retire from politics, the 89-year-old is still willing to run if necessary.
“Alam niyo ‘yung nanay ko, she’s always ready to [do] whatever is needed. Sinasabi niya kaagad, kung kinakailangan niyo akong tumakbo … or whatever decision, she will do it,” Bongbong told reporters here at the Nanka media forum.
This is a turnaround in the so-called “Iron Butterfly’s” position. Earlier in January, Bongbong said his mother is no longer interested in running for any position.
However, the Marcoses’ political plans are still on the drawing board, with Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos yet to make a final decision if she would run for senator and with younger Marcoses not expressing any interest to enter politics.
“It’s all in the mix as it were. Pinaguusapan pa rin namin. It depends what happens to my protest, what Imee decides to do, how she wants to handle her campaign,” said Bongbong, who has a pending poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
“These are all factors that we are trying to assess to come up with the best formula,” he said.
Both Imelda and Imee’s terms would expire come 2019, leaving them ineligible to be re-elected in their respective posts, which may lead to the Marcoses losing grip over their longtime bailiwick of Ilocos Norte.
While Imee has been busy touring the country and has been endorsed by Partido Demokratiko Pilipino — Lakas ng Bayan President Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel IV and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago as senator, she still cannot finalize her run for the upper chamber as the Marcoses await the PET’s decision on Bongbong’s protest.
Bongbong cannot run again for senator without giving up his protest against Robredo.
While faced with these hurdles to their family’s political plans, Bongbong assured that they “will keep [their] presence in Ilocos province, in Ilocos Norte as [they] have for all these many years.”
“Sigurado mayoon pa rin diyan ‘yung pamilya. My mother has eight grandsons na pagpipiliang tumakbo. Wala kaming babae eh. So there are eight cousins who are waiting in the wings,” he said.
Despite the Marcos patriarch, the late dictator Ferdinand Sr., being deposed in a popular uprising in 1986, the Marcoses have managed to make a return to Philippine politics, with members of the clan peppered throughout the country’s political landscape.
The family is also among the closest allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, who backed the burial of Ferdinand Sr. in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.