|A.K.A.||Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Bongbong, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., …|
|Birth||13 September 1957, Manila|
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. (born September 13, 1957) is a Filipino politician and former senator in the 16th Congress of the Philippines. He is the second child and only son of former President and dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos and of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.
Marcos served as Governor of Ilocos Norte (1983–1986, 1998–2007) and as Representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte (1992–1995, 2007–2010) under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the political party founded by his father. He was also Deputy Minority Leader during his second term in the House of Representatives. In 2010, Marcos was elected as Senator of the Philippines under the Nacionalista Party. Senator Marcos chairs several senate committees, including the Committee on Local Government and the Committee on Public Works, and is a member of several other committees.
On October 5, 2015, Marcos announced his candidacy for Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 election. With a difference of 263,473 votes, 0.64 percent difference, Marcos suffered a narrow and controversial loss to Leni Robredo.
Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. was born on September 13, 1957, to then Representative Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez. He studied in Institucion Teresiana and La Salle Greenhills in Manila, where he obtained his kindergarten and elementary education, respectively.
Nicknamed ‘Bongbong’, Marcos starred in his father’s true-to-life story film, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, as himself, along with Vilma Santos as his sister Imee Marcos, Luis Gonzales as his father and Gloria Romero as his mother. The film was released before the 1965 Philippine Elections in which his father, who was senator at that time, was elected President of the Philippines.
In 1970, Marcos was sent to England where he lived and studied at Worth School an all-boys Benedictine institution. Thereafter, he pursued his undergraduate degree. He graduated with a Special Diploma in Social Studies from Oxford University in England.
Marcos enrolled in the Masters in Business Administration program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, U.S. However, he was unable to complete the course because of his election as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980.
The political career of Bongbong Marcos started with his election as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte (1980–1983) at the young age of 23. In 1983, he led a group of young Filipino leaders on a 10-day diplomatic mission to China to mark the 10th anniversary of Philippine-Chinese relations. Marcos succeeded as Governor of Ilocos Norte (1983–1986) which he served until the People Power Revolution ousted his family from power. He then lived in political exile with his family in Hawaii, United States.
Congress, first term
Bongbong Marcos was among the first of his family to return to the Philippines in 1991. A year later, he was elected as representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte to the Philippine House of Representatives (1992–1995). During his term, Marcos was the author of 29 House bills and co-author of 90 more, which includes those that paved the way for the creation of the Department of Energy and the National Youth Commission. He was also instrumental in advancing the cause of cooperatives by devoting most of his Countryside Development Fund (CDF) to organizing the cooperatives of teachers and farmers in his home province. In 1995, Marcos ran for a seat in the Philippine Senate but lost.
Ilocos Norte governor
Marcos was again elected as Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998, running against his father’s closest friend and ally, Roque Ablan Jr. He served for three consecutive terms ending in 2007. During his tenure, Governor Marcos transformed Ilocos Norte into a first-class province of international acclaim, by showcasing its natural and cultural destinations. He also pioneered the wind power technology that serves as an alternative source of energy in Ilocos Norte and other parts of Luzon.
Congress, second term
In 2007, Marcos ran unopposed for the congressional seat previously held by his older sister Imee. He is then appointed as Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. During this term, one of the important pieces of legislation he authored was the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law, or Republic Act No. 9522. He also promoted the Republic Act No. 9502 (Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act) which was enacted on 2009.
In 1995, Marcos ran for the Senate under the NPC-led coalition, but placed only 16th. He made a second attempt for the Senate in 2010, this time securing a Senate seat by placing seventh overall. As of February 2016, he is the chairman of the Senate committees on local government and public works. He also chairs the oversight committee on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Organic Act, the congressional oversight panel on the Special Purpose Vehicle Act, and a select oversight committee on barangay affairs.
In the 15th Congress (2010–2013), Marcos was the author of 34 Senate bills and was co-author of 17 more, 7 of which became Republic Acts. Among them are the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and the National Health Insurance Act.
In the 16th Congress (2013–2016), Marcos has authored 52 bills, with one enacted into law. His Senate Bill 1186, which sought the postponement of the 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, later became Republic Act 10632 on October 3, 2013.
Marcos has also co-authored 4 Senate bills. One of them, Senate Bill 712, was approved as Republic Act 10645 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
On November 20, 2009, the KBL forged an alliance with the Nacionalista Party (NP) between Marcos and NP chairman Senator Manny Villar at the Laurel House in Mandaluyong City. Marcos became a guest senatorial candidate of the NP through this alliance. Marcos was later removed as a member by the KBL National Executive Committee on November 23, 2012. As such, the NP broke its alliance with the KBL due to internal conflicts within the party, however Bongbong remained part of the NP senatorial line-up. He was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 senate elections. He took office on June 30, 2010.
Vice-presidential bid, 2016
On October 5, 2015, Marcos announced via his website his candidacy for Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 general election stating “I have decided to run for Vice President in the May 2016 elections.” Marcos ran as an independent candidate. Prior to his announcement, he had declined an invitation by presidential candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay, to become his running mate. On October 15, 2015 presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago confirmed that Marcos would serve as her running mate.
Marcos placed second in the tightly contested vice presidential race losing to Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo, who won by a margin of 263,473 votes.
Criticisms have been leveled at Marcos for being unapologetic for human rights violations and ill-gotten wealth during his father’s administration.
On February 2016, Marcos answered his critics by stating:
“Ipaubaya natin ang kasaysayan sa mga propesor, sa mga nag-aaral tungkol sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Kami hindi namin trabaho yun. Ang trabaho namin ay tingnan kung ano ba ang pangangailangan ng taong bayan ngayon.” (Let us leave history to the professors, to those who study the history of the Philippines. It is not our job. Our job is to look at what the people need at present.)
In response, over 500 faculty, staff and history professors from Ateneo de Manila University released the following statement:
“In response to Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr.’s call that teachers and students of history should make a judgment about the Marcos administration, we, the undersigned members of the Ateneo de Manila community, vehemently oppose and condemn the ongoing willful distortion of our history. We deplore the shameless refusal to acknowledge the crimes of the Martial Law regime. We reject the revision of history, disturbing vision of the future, and shallow call for “unity” being presented by Marcos Jr. and like-minded candidates in the 2016 elections.
“The Marcos regime’s economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Philippines. The regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building, nor genuine social transformation of the country, despite its “New Society” rhetoric. Instead, Marcos was mainly concerned with perpetuating his personal hold on power by favoring family members, friends, and other cronies. Thus, Marcos simply created new elites or “oligarchs” rather than abolish them — supposedly one of his main justifications for declaring martial law. Those who dared challenge the regime’s monopoly on power, whether politicians, business people, political activists, organized labor, peasants or urban poor, Church workers, students — young or old, rich or poor — were intimidated, imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured or summarily executed.
“We refuse to forget the atrocities committed by the Marcos regime, and we renew our demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice. We also reiterate our position that the government should relentlessly pursue and reclaim all the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the Marcos family and its cronies. Moreover, victims and their families should be given justice and compensation in full. Any call for unity, most especially from the heirs of the Marcos regime which bitterly divided the country, will be empty and meaningless unless truth and justice are upheld.”
To this, Marcos replied: “…people have their own opinion; they have the right to their opinion. We’ll agree to disagree, I guess.”
On March 7, 2016, more than 1,400 Catholic Schools through the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) joined the call of the Ateneo faculty through a statement titled “CEAP Supports Call Against Marcosian Snares and Imeldific Lies.” In it, they stated:
“The Trustees of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, representing the 1,425 CEAP member-schools, colleges, and universities, support the faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University in their call against the attempt of Ferdinand Marcos Jr to canonize the harrowing horrors of martial rule.
“With the same fervor, we cry our hearts out, ‘Never Again!’”
On March 28, 2016, the Department of History of the University of the Philippines Diliman released a statement entitled “MALAKAS AT MAGANDA: Marcos Reign, Myth-Making and Deception in History”. In it, they stated:
“Great danger now lurks behind a deceptive nostalgia for a past that never really existed–that the Marcos years were a period of peace and prosperity. This is patently Marcos myth and deception. Under martial law, the country was plunged into a climate of repression and plunder and then into a social crisis that exploded in the 1980s.
“…it was in fact under martial law that the communist and Moro rebellions grew in leaps and bounds. Marcos claimed to break up an old oligarchy, but martial law instead created a new type under his control, a crony oligarchy.
“Economic crises characterized the Marcos years, as economists have consistently revealed, the most telling indicator was the extent of poverty. Poverty incidence grew from 41% in the 1960s to 59% in the 1980s. Vaunted growth was far from inclusive and driven by debt, which further weighed down on the nation. From 1970 to 1983, foreign debt increased twelve times and reached $20 billion (Dr. Manuel Montes, 1984). It grew at anaverage rate of 25% from 1970 to 1981. Much went to unproductive expenses like the Bataan Nuclear Plant, which was unsound and wasteful.
“To say then that EDSA interrupted our becoming like Singapore is a big joke, a malicious lie. Marcos had mismanaged the economy; it was in shambles long before the EDSA revolt. From 1970 to 1980, among East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines registered the lowest GDP per capita at 3.4% [sic] (An Analysis of Economic Crisis, ed. Dr. Emmanuel de Dios, 1984). Peace and order, a spurious claim, actually meant an iron-fisted clampdown on civil liberties. Through presidential decree and executive order backed by the full force of the military apparatus, Marcos padlocked Congress, jailed the opposition, gagged media, emasculated unions, and banned student councils. Thousands were jailed without warrant and due process, not to mention countless killings and disappeared. Yet the national crime rate climbed continuously from 183 in 1976 to 279 (per 100,000) in 1980 (De Dios, ed. 1984 citing Philippine Constabulary data). In 14 long years, repression had also stunted the growth of independent-minded new leaders from the younger generation.
“We reject deception and demand accountability!”
He is married to Louise Cacho Araneta, with 3 sons: Ferdinand Alexander III “Sandro” (born 1994), Joseph Simon (born 1995) and William Vincent “Vince” (born 1997).