Kilusang Bagong Lipunan picks Bongbong as presidential bet

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan picks Bongbong as presidential bet
File photo shows defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his sister, Imee.
The STAR / Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines — Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, a right-wing party founded by former President Ferdinand Marcos, nominated Friday the late dictator’s son and namesake, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as their party’s presidential candidate for the 2022 elections.

The KBL said in a resolution adopted during their national convention held at Thunderbird Resort in Binangonan, Rizal, that the younger Marcos was highly favored by party officers and members to be their party’s presidential bet.

Former Sen. Marcos, in a video message shown at the KBL convention, thanked the party for the nomination, saying that he hopes to achieve the ideals, dreams and visions of his father for the country, but falling short of accepting the nomination.

In a news conference held simultaneously with the KBL convention, former Sen. Marcos repeatedly dodged questions on whether he would run for president, but said he is considering running for a national position and that he is “close” to making a decision.

“Mukhang dahan-dahan nabubuo na ang ating mga plano because you know, a national candidacy is very different from any other kind of candidacy, kaya’t kailangan lahat ng grupo ay kahit papaano may usapan. And that’s what we’re finalizing now,” he said.

(It appears that our plans are slowly being formed because you know, a national candidacy is very different from any other kind of candidacy, that’s why all groups need to be somewhat represented.)

He admitted, however, that he has been in informal talks with the family of President Rodrigo Duterte and the faction of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Former Sen. Marcos added he does not want to rush his decision for the 2022 elections.

“You cannot rush these things. I fully intend all the available time that I have to make that decision. Again, it’s very important and it’s not something that should be rushed without the complete knowledge of the political situation,” he said.

Political rehabilitation

Former Sen. Marcos had been a member of KBL from 1980 to 2009, when he was ousted from his father’s party after joining the Nacionalista Party. He has been with the NP ever since.

After being ousted through a popular uprising known as the People Power Revolution in 1986, the Marcos family has seen a steady political rehabilitation, with key members of the family getting elected back into seats of power.

Among the Marcoses, Bongbong has been the closest to make an attempt to return to Malacañang when he ran for vice president in 2016. He lost to Vice President Leni Robredo.

Victims of his father’s brutal martial rule, which saw thousands of human rights violations and billions plundered from state coffers, formed an alliance to counter his vice presidential bid called Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang.

A Hawaii court recognized that thousands were imprisoned, tortured, killed and disappeared during the older Marcos’ two-decade rule, a fact that was affirmed by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1995 and the Supreme Court in 2003.

Republic Act No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act also recognizes that there “were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations” under the Marcos regime.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government, established after the Marcoses were removed from power, has recovered a total of P174 billion of ill-gotten wealth as of September 2021 and is still running after P125 billion more.

To this day, Bongbong and his family deny allegations of culpability. His sister, Imee, is a sitting senator while his son, Sandro, had expressed willingness to run for Congress.

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