President Marcos on Life After Exile: 'Our Own Survival Required That Somebody Go Into Politics'


President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has had a very productive week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. He championed his administration's restructured reforms, labor force, and the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund during a sit-down dialogue with world leaders in business and politics. Among the other topics covered in his talk was his decision to run for president again. Here, he admitted that it was "survival" that drove him into politics.

In a conversation with WEF President Børge Brende, he spoke candidly about his family's exile in 1986 and return to the Philippine political sphere six years later. “After we came back from the U.S., after exile, when we were first allowed to come back, the political issue was ‘Marcos,’” he explained, talking about the family's comeback in 1991.

He continued: “We were in exile for six years so we weren’t sure if we were coming back at all; physically coming back. My father never made it back. He died in Hawaii. So that was a very trying time—those were dark days for the family and I dare say even for the country."

In 1991, former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino granted the Marcos family the homecoming they hoped for. It was in this year that the family started rebuilding their reputation, with the matriarch, Imelda Marcos, even running for president in 1992. The Marcoses would eventually find themselves in the Lower House when Marcos Jr. won a congressional seat in their home province of Ilocos Norte. Before that, during his father's two-decade rule, Marcos had also served as Ilocos Norte governor.



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"For us, to defend ourselves politically, someone had to enter politics and be in the political arena so that at least… not only the legacy of my father, but even our own survival required that somebody go into politics,” he was quoted as saying.

Roughly three decades since, the Marcoses have a strong presence in the Lower House, with the President's first cousin Martin Romualdez now House Speaker and his son Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos representing the first district of Ilocos Norte. Meanwhile, in the Upper House sits his ster, Senator Imee Marcos. Bongbong Marcos himself won the last presidential elections, the first  one to win by a vast majority since the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Friday, January 20, marks the President's last day at the WEF in Switzerland. His next state visit will be to Japan next month.

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