Marcos heir says will run for Philippines presidency

Manila (AFP) –


The son and namesake of the Philippines' former dictator Ferdinand Marcos said Tuesday he will run for president in the 2022 election, as the controversial clan seeks the ultimate political revival.

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr -- who has defended President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial drug war and supported the death penalty for traffickers -- declared his candidacy in a Facebook Live broadcast.

"I am today announcing my intention to run for the presidency of the Philipines in the upcoming May 2022 elections," the 64-year-old political scion said, joining a growing field of contenders seeking to replace Duterte.

"I will bring... unifying leadership back to our country."

Marcos Jr was in second place behind Duterte's daughter, Sara, in a recent PulseAsia Research survey of voter preference for president, though she has denied plans to run.

Boxing great Manny Pacquiao and celebrity mayor Francisco Domagoso have confirmed they will seek the top job.

A tilt for the country's highest office comes after Marcos Jr's failed bid for the vice presidency in 2016, which he narrowly lost to Leni Robredo.

Losing the election was a blow for the Marcos family, which had gone into exile in the United States after the patriarch's humiliating downfall in 1986.

He and his wife Imelda were accused of massive corruption while in power.