Son of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos announces bid for vice-president

Filipino senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Junior speaking during the plenary debate of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the Senate in Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines, Sept 23, 2015. Ferdinand Marcos Junior, 57, popularly known a
Filipino senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Junior speaking during the plenary debate of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the Senate in Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines, Sept 23, 2015. Ferdinand Marcos Junior, 57, popularly known as Bongbong and one of the country's 24 senators, said he will run for vice-president in next year's elections.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MANILA (REUTERS/AFP) - Senator Ferdinand Marcos, son of the late Philippine dictator also called Ferdinand Marcos, has announced his intention to run for vice-president, though he did not say which presidential candidate he would run with.

Ferdinand Marcos Jnr, popularly known as "Bongbong", hinted at an alliance with a potential presidential nominee accused of widespread human rights abuses.

"I have decided to put my political fortune in the hands of the Filipino people. I humbly ask them to judge whether or not I am worthy of their trust to be vice-president on the strength of my performance as a public servant in the last 26 years," he said.

"I believe that elected officials have an obligation to our people to help change the course of our nation's history by banishing the politics of personality which to me is one of the primary causes why our country today has become a soft state where the rich become richer, the poor become poorer, graft and corruption is endemic," Xinhua quoted him as adding.

He did not mention his late father, who ruled the Philippines for two decades until 1986 when millions of people took to the streets in a famous "people power" revolution that forced him into US exile.

He also said his 26 years experience of being a public servant would be beneficial to his campaign, Xinhua reported.

Mr Marcos, 58, is currently into his first term as a senator, and also was vice-governor and governor of Iocos Norte, as well as representative of the second district of the province.

His senatorial term ends next year.

His father was topped in a democracy uprising in 1986, and died in exile in 1989.

His mother Imelda, famous for her shoe collection, is an 86-year-old congresswoman.

The Marcos family has long been dogged by accusations the dictator oversaw massive human rights abuses and plundered billions of dollars from state coffers.

After the downfall of the dictator, the family fled to Hawaii where the patriarch died in 1989.

The rest of the family, headed by controversial matriarch Imelda, returned in 1991 and began a successful political comeback, beating all judicial charges and capitalising on anger over the nation not progressing under the patriarch's successors.

Mr "Bongbong" Marcos won a Senate position in 2010, the first time since his father's demise that a family member had won a nationally elected post.

Other members of the family have also won elected office with the Marcos matriarch, famous for her luxurious lifestyle, being voted in as member of Parliament in 2010, representing her husband's northern stronghold of Ilocos Norte province.

In the Philippines, the president and vice-president are elected separately, often resulting in the two elected officials coming from rival parties.

Mr Marcos Jnr. said any talk of teaming up with a presidential candidate would be "mere speculation".

However, he also said he would support controversial mayor of the southern city of Davao, Mr Rodrigo Duterte, if he decided to run for president.

Mr Duterte, who is known for a hardline position against crime and has also been accused of rights abuses, has given conflicting signals that he will run.

Current President Benigno Aquino is the only son and namesake of the late strongman's political nemesis, whose assassination in 1983 led to the popular uprising three years later.

The assassinated hero's wife Corazon Aquino led the revolution and was the nation's first president after Marcos' fall.

In July, Mr Aquino anointed his Interior Minister Manuel Roxas as his preferred successor.

In a survey by a respected research agency in September, only 13 per cent said they would vote for the son of the late dictator for vice-president.

Mr Marcos Jnr had earlier flagged he may run for president.

He did not say on Monday why he did not go for the top job, but his poor survey ratings were considered one reason.