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‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Manny Pacquiao run for higher office in Philippines

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MANILA >> The son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has announced that he will run for vice president in next year’s elections in a new gauge of his family’s political clout nearly three decades after they were ousted in a “people power” revolt.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. asked Filipinos in a statement Monday to judge him based on his 26-year career in government as a provincial official and national lawmaker.

Meanwhiile, boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, meanwhile, said he will run for the Senate next year. Pacquiao, a member of the House of Representatives, disclosed his plans to followers late Monday, according to ABS-CBN TV network.

Marcos, 58, did not touch on allegations of massive corruption and widespread rights violations against his father in a country which still marks the anniversary each year of the Marcoses’ 1986 ouster as a triumph of democracy.

“I have decided to put my political fortune in the hands of the Filipino people,” he said.

Marcos railed against the “politics of personality” that he said has turned the Philippines into “a soft state where the rich become richer, the poor become poorer, graft and corruption is endemic … injustice is the norm.”

Renato Reyes of the left-wing group Bayan said Marcos should acknowledge the abuses that were committed during his father’s rule.

The former president died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 without admitting any wrongdoing.

While the late dictator is reviled by many, including by thousands of former political prisoners, he still enjoys a degree of popularity, particularly in his northern home province of Ilocos Norte, where the family holds significant political power.

Sen. Marcos’ mother, Imelda Marcos, is a member of the House of Representatives, representing a district in Ilocos Norte, where her eldest child, Imee, is provincial governor. Mrs. Marcos, who is derided for her large shoe collection, can run for a final term in Congress but has yet to announce her political plans.

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