MANILA (Reuters) — The son and namesake of late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos announced on Tuesday he will run for president in next year's elections, ending months of speculation over his political ambitions.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who is popularly known as "Bongbong," had been touted as a potential candidate for either the presidency or the vice presidency, having been involved in politics since his return in 1991 from exile following his father's 1986 overthrow.
"Join me in this noblest of causes and we will succeed. Together, we will rise again," the 64-year-old said in a speech streamed on social media.
Marcos has served as provincial governor, congressman and senator and ran unsuccessfully for the vice presidency in 2016, a defeat he challenged in the courts. His sister Imee is a senator and mother Imelda a former congresswoman.
He is the fourth candidate to announce a run for the presidency.
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Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former national police chief, also intends to run in the contest to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte, who is not permitted to run for a second term under the constitution, and has decided to retire.
Marcos Jr. on Tuesday took an oath as chairman of a political party that had earlier nominated him as its presidential candidate.
His run for the top post would be a big step in a country where many are still healing from the 1970s martial rule era of the elder Marcos.
His family, one of the most famous in the Philippines, has long sought to rebuild its image and has repeatedly denied allegations it plundered billions of dollars of state wealth when in power, which ended in a military-backed People's Power uprising in 1986.