In a move that could put him one step closer to Malacañang nearly 30 years after his family fled from a palace besieged by angry protesters, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the late dictator, on Friday launched his bid for the vice presidency.
Marcos, 58, presented himself as a contender for the nation's second-highest post in historically atmospheric Intramuros, joined by his mother, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, sister Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, and his father's defence secretary who turned against him, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
Leading a revolution
Marcos also received the endorsement of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, just days after Estrada sang the praises and supported the candidacy of leftist lawmaker and human rights lawyer Neri Colmenares for the Senate.
Marcos did not declare support for any presidential candidate.
In presenting himself as a potential Vice President, Marcos said he would bring about a revolution in how things are done in the country, even as he invoked the nation's heroes as his inspiration.
He said he chose to make his announcement at Puerta Real Gardens on General Luna Street, because he was inspired by the film about the Filipino revolutionary general.
"With your help and that of the country, I would lead a revolution in thinking and action so that we could reach our dream of a peaceful, prosperous nation and a lively citizenry," he said.
He called for true and meaningful unity among Filipinos.
Uncaring gov't officials
"That is the challenge of the new generation for a bright and lively future," he said.
"Let us face together the call of the times, link our arms and shout to the whole country that we would not allow the triumph of destructive politicians and politics which is the reason for division among Filipinos," he added.
In his speech, Marcos also attacked government officials who do nothing for the people and those who abuse and steal from the country's coffers. He said that despite the many talents of Filipinos, the country remained poor because of the negligence of previous administrations.
"Why do we remain a poor country?" he asked. "Why is it that despite the problems that the people are facing, we see no solution from the government? Why are they not doing anything?"
"In my view, this is because of the lack of concern of some of the previous administrations, that the government should be helping and caring for Filipinos," he said.
Government officials, Marcos said, should be working for the welfare of the people and the country, not their own selfish interests or those of select groups.
They were not put in power for them to devote their time to bringing down their political enemies while allowing their allies to abuse their position, he further said. They should not also be sowing disunity because of politics.
But this was what has been happening, he said.