Filipino vice president seeks 2022 presidency against dictator’s son

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine Vice President and Opposition Leader Leni Robredo on Thursday submitted her candidacy for president in next year’s election, which would bring the pro-democracy activist to a new confrontation with the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who is also seeking the highest post.

Robredo joined a growing list of contenders for the May 9 election after talks failed to unite the main candidates behind a single candidate that would run counter to who President Rodrigo Duterte and his ruling party were would approve for the race.

Robredo said earlier that she could decide to run if ex-Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., whom she narrowly beat in the 2016 vice-presidential race, ran for the presidency. He filed the papers on Wednesday, leading some on social media to describe the new rivalry as a boxing rematch.

Philippine presidents and vice-presidents are elected separately, and Robredo and Duterte have had a strained relationship for years. It attacked its brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that left thousands of suspects dead, mostly poor, and led the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation.

She also hit on Marcos Jr.’s refusal to apologize and express remorse for the thousands of human rights victims during his father’s iron-fisted reign from 1972 to 1981.

Lawyer, former legislator and social activist who advocates democracy, human rights and good governance, Robredo supported the demonstrations of “popular power” of 1986 which resulted in the ousting of Marcos and became a sign before -cursor of changes in authoritarian regimes.

“We must free ourselves from the current situation. I will fight, we will fight, ”Robredo said at a televised press conference where she announced her candidacy while acknowledging a rise. “They have the money, the machines, a complete infrastructure that can broadcast any story they want to project.”

“But no noise can ever cover the truth,” she said, as her supporters chanted her name repeatedly. “We will defeat the old and rotten politics.”

Robredo, 56, is the latest key politician to declare his intention to succeed Duterte, whose six-year term, one of the most tumultuous and controversial in recent Philippine history, ends in June of the next year. The ailing leader, known for his brash rhetoric and swearing outbursts, originally planned to run for vice-president of the PDP-Laban party he leads, but withdrew on Saturday after his popularity rating went down. dropped and prompted him to announce his retirement from politics.

Marcos Jr.’s candidacy immediately sparked a protest from more than 100 left-wing activists who vowed to campaign against him as they burned effigies of his father and Duterte, a Marcos ally.

Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday he was ready to take on Robredo and the other suitors.

Elder Marcos has died in exile in Hawaii three years after his ouster without admitting any wrongdoing, including accusations that he and his family raised between $ 5 billion and $ 10 billion while in power.

A Hawaii court found Marcos responsible for human rights violations in 1995 and awarded him $ 2 billion from his estate to compensate more than 9,000 Filipinos who sued him for torture, incarceration, extrajudicial killings and disappearances.

Imelda Marcos and her children were allowed to return to the Philippines in 1991 and have since made a political comeback, winning congressional seats and powerful provincial posts and laying the groundwork for a return to the presidential palace and the highest post that ‘they thought they had been robbed. of them.

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