Bongbong’s gambit

By Perry Diaz

Sen. Bongbong Marcos with mother Imelda Marcos and Marcos loyalists, former president Erap Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. (Credit: Reuters)

Sen. Bongbong Marcos with mother Imelda Marcos and Marcos loyalists, former president Erap Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. (Credit: Reuters)

Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That is also true in politics; however, some — if not most – of the times, a straight line is fraught with danger that prevents someone from reaching the destination. And to some people, taking a circuitous – and longer distance – might avoid a lot of distractions, and have a better chance of reaching the goal.

At 58 years of age, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. could be one of those who feel the need – or urge — to take the fast track, that is, a straight line to the presidency. Indeed, he could have taken that route if he heeded his mom’s, Congresswoman Imelda Marcos, fervent desire for Bongbong to run for president as early as 2010. Instead, he ran for a six-year Senate term and won.

His experience in the Senate gave him national recognition and provided him a stepping-stone to higher office — the presidency – thus fulfilling his mom’s dream that her only son would follow the footsteps of her late husband, the strongman President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Halfway through his Senate term, when Bongbong was asked what his future plans were, he said that he was considering running for a higher office in 2016. And “higher office” could only mean the presidency or vice presidency. And since Imelda really wanted him to run for president, one would be convinced that he would definitely do so. All indications pointed to a presidential run; however, he continued to sidestep the question while his ardent – mostly young — followers unceasingly promoted in the social media his “presidential” qualities and those of his father whom they credited for the improvements to the country’s economy and infrastructure.

Bongbong’s dilemma

Bongbong-Marcos-pa-rinIndeed, the “Bongbong for President” campaign in the social media heightened a great deal of anticipation from his supporters – who revived the old cliché, “Marcos pa rin kami!” However, it also awakened his father’s old enemies and detractors, who dread the return of the “Dictator” in the person of his son. While Bongbong’s supporters are growing in numbers, the revival of the anti-Marcos movement — which had been dormant in the past three decades – is gaining momentum, albeit disorganized. Or could it be that they are just waiting for the son to enter the presidential race and then organize to stop him? This is a question that can’t be answered today only because nobody knows how strong he is. Surveys could give some inkling of Bongbong’s real electoral strength; however, that would only be manifested when he enters the race, which begs the question: Is Bongbong taking a longer – but surer –path to the presidency, by way of the vice presidency?

In my article, “Who doesn’t want to be vice president?” (August 28, 2015), I wrote: “Whoever wins the vice presidency would be in a good position to run for president in 2022. Statistics show that out of the 10 presidential elections since 1946 (excluding the presidential elections during the martial law), five incumbent vice presidents ran for president in the next presidential election and won. They were: Elpidio Quirino in 1948, Carlos P. Garcia in 1953, Diosdado Macapagal in 1961, Joseph Estrada in 1998, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004. But three other incumbent vice presidents had opted not to run for president, to wit: Emmanuel Pelaez in 1965, Salvador Laurel in 1992, and Noli de Castro in 2010.”

Historical data

Vice-presidential-candidates-2016-ThaiyoGiven these historical data, the elected president in 2022 would come from the 2016 crop of vice presidential candidates: Rep. Leni Robredo, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, and Sen. Bongbong Marcos. The question is: Who among them would be elected vice president in 2016? With the 2016 campaign season already in full swing, each of them have a good chance of winning the race; however, the candidate with a large bloc of voters identified with the candidate either by region or language would have an edge over the others.

Two blocs with the largest number of voters are the Solid North and Ilocano Vote. Then there are the Bicolano Vote, Cebuano Vote, Mindanao Vote, Visayan Vote, Tagalog Vote, Central Luzon Vote, and Metro Manila Vote. Surmise it to say, an Ilocano candidate could capture the combined Solid North and Ilocano Vote, while a Cebuano candidate could capture the combined Visayan Vote, Cebuano Vote, and a good chunk of the Mindanao Vote.

If the regional bloc and language bloc are taken into consideration on who’d win the vice presidency, the following shows where their electoral bases are:

1. Marcos – Solid North and Ilocano Vote.
2. Escudero – Bicolano Vote.
3. Robredo – Bicolano Vote.
4. Honasan – Bicolano Vote and Central Luzon Vote.
5. Trillanes – Bicolano Vote and Visayan Vote.
6. Cayetano – Tagalog Vote and Metro Manila Vote.

While voters weigh the qualifications – character, honesty, experience, achievement — of the candidates, the candidates’ regional and language provenance would play an important aspect in their final decision of whom they’ll vote for. And this is why the candidates would do their utmost to protect their electoral bases.

Ilocano Vote

Bongbong: In his father's footsteps.

Bongbong: In his father’s footsteps.

It is apparent that Bongbong – from a regional/language standpoint – has a built-in advantage over his rivals. And his chances are further enhanced because four of the candidates – Robredo, Escudero, Honasan, and Trillanes – have roots in the Bicol region, which could divide the Bicolano Vote among them. Cayetano is in a position to capture the Tagalog Vote and the huge Metro Manila Vote; however, Metro Manila is not as clannish as the Ilocano Vote and Bicolano Vote.

Bongbong enjoys the clannishness of the Ilocanos and by extension the Solid North, which was the bailiwick of his father. The question is: Would Bongbong be able to get the support his father got from Ilocanos? And would Bongbong be able to communicate with Ilocanos in their native language just like how Marcos Sr. did with his mastery and eloquence of the Ilocano language?

Bongbong must have spent a great deal of time in deciding whether to run for president or not. He must have decided against it because he was not sure if his electoral base was large enough to clinch the presidency. And he must have been convinced that the anti-Marcos forces would trounce him in the polls.

Sins of the father

Would time heal?

Would time heal?

Ultimately, Bongbong demurred and decided against running for president in 2016. He sacrificed his life-long ambition of following the footsteps of his father. He must have told himself, “The presidency can wait.” In six years, he’d be 64 years old. And it would have been 36 years after the People Power Revolution that deposed his father.

If he seeks the presidency in 2022, he would have to win the vice presidency in 2016. Then he has to do a great job of serving the people to atone for the sins of his father, which would be a challenge by itself.

During an interview with the media two days after he announced his candidacy for vice president, Bongbong said, “I am looking towards the future. The past is the past.” But the question is: Would time heal? Bongbong took a gambit hoping that it will.


80 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Sluggo Rigor says:

    insightful piece, cousin perry. more please.

  2. lex tabo says:

    NO TO BBM!

  3. ian says:

    Pag nanalo yan baka mag ka martial law ulit! wag na lang…

  4. feliciano says:


  5. Sarah Alcantara says:

    No to BBM!

  6. April Taduran says:

    Never forget Martial Law! No to BBM! No to Marcoses!

  7. Joy Bermudo says:

    Tama na ang rehimeng Marcos! Tama na sa martial law! Kailangan na ng pagbabago ng Pinas!

  8. Domeng Pogi says:

    kay Cayetano kami!

  9. Ramon Agno says:

    Very informative. Your writing is topnotch.

  10. Constantino Gamolo says:

    Hi Perry: If it is not too much to ask, how about doing an essay of every candidate? Thanks.

  11. Joan says:

    No to BBM never forget martial law!

  12. Sonia says:

    Dont want to experience Martial Law!! BIG NO TO BBM!

  13. Jason says:

    Magnanakaw ka Marcos Hindi ka namin kailangan, we need Change we Need Cayetano!

  14. kathleen says:

    Ang sinungaling ay kakambal ng magnanakaw. Alam na! Kailangan ntn ng pagbabago! #CAYETANO2016

  15. Joven says:

    Mula Noon hangang Ngayon Mananatili kang Magnanakaw a big NO to BBM! kailangan namin ng pagbabago at si Cayetano lang makakatulong samin!

  16. Erlinda Dinori says:

    Time heals all wounds. But asking for forgiveness heals it faster.

  17. Kyle Valencia says:

    NO TO BBM.

  18. Tin Ventura says:


  19. Brianna Lara says:


  20. Erisha Go says:

    NO TO BBM!!

  21. Tiffany Cruz says:


  22. jurex says:

    big “NO” to marcos, wag na ibalik pa ang madugong martial law

  23. Ralph Escote says:

    Dito samin sa bicol kay sen. alan lang susuporta, kahit sino pang kandidato ang bumisita sa bicol.

  24. JoycilAnn Cilan says:

    Bakit di it okaya gawin ni BongBong Marcos?
    SEOUL – The ruling party candidate in South Korea’s presidential election apologized Monday for human rights abuses during the repressive rule of her late father, military strongman Park Chung-Hee.
    Under increasing pressure to clarify her position on her father’s 1961-79 rule, Park Geun-Hye offered her “sincere apologies to those who suffered and were wounded during this period, and to their families.”

  25. ArchieDave Rubino says:

    The sins of the father are not the sins of the son but the achievements of the father are NOT the achievements of the son!

  26. James Vargas says:

    we dont give a damn for bongbong. and will never be

  27. Brianna Anne Fusto says:

    Naaalala ninyo dati mahirap tawagan ang Maynila mula sa probinsya? dadaan ka pa sa operator tapos pwede pa collect call. ngayon cellphone lang at onting load kaya na. Wala na masyado silbi yang solid regional vote na yan. Ang mga tao ngayon iboboto nila yung makapaghahatid sa kanila ng tunay na pagbabago. Yung matapang na sulusyon ang dala.

  28. Luminah Chie Violeta says:

    Ang dami nila maghahati sa Bicol! Hehehehehe

  29. rhoda ferrer says:

    i will not support marcos,we never forget the sins of marcos family.

  30. alma miranda says:

    im sorry BBM! but for me senator alan cayetano is the best vice president..

  31. i prefered alan cayetano to be the vice president of the phil.,he deserves that position..

  32. Jen Dee says:

    Nag sama sama na sila nakakatokot, lahat pa naman na kasama niya my kaso at nakulong! Sino ba naman ang susuporta jan!

  33. primitibo says:

    wala n akong ibng bise n iboboto kundi si kuya alan lan

  34. Derek Tipsy says:

    We dont care about him!

  35. hazel says:

    laht ng suporta ko e ibbgy ko pra sau kuya alan

  36. Paul Saavedra says:

    wala kaming pake basta galing kay marcos na balita

  37. cola says:

    pg c kuya alan nnalo mggng mgnda pmmlkad s bnsa

  38. Fernando Habito says:

    The usual rhetoric of Bongbong Marcos that “Past is past” indicates his lack of understanding about HISTORY.The advancement of information technology made the chains of past..present and future events spread all over the world that the deceptions,lies and fakery of the Romualdez-Marcos Dynasty are miscalculated and overlook by BBM ignorance.

  39. kaye says:

    kht anu mngyari kuya alan lang kmi

  40. jan says:

    Sana senador nalng sya kc nkakakatakot ang kwento ng martial law mismong ako ayaw ko sapitin ng mga kapatid ko ang ngyare noon,

  41. ryan casidsid says:

    we dont need marcos, ayaw na namin maranasan pa ang rinanas ng mga magulang namin noong panahon ng martial law

  42. Vin Sel says:

    I still support Sen. Alan all the way.

  43. jan says:

    Cayetano has the most qualified in terms of character, honesty, experience, achievement!

  44. nicolas says:

    we dont like marcos, sa mga ginawa ng magulang niya sa bansa natin.

  45. habibi esh says:

    mula noon hanggang ngayon ganun pa din gagawin niyo mga marcos.

  46. ryan says:

    Ano ba mapapala natin sa taong ginahasa ang ating bansa, kung saan tayo ay nghirap sa ilalim ng tatay niya, uulitin pa ba natin ang mga nangyare o kailangan na natin magising!

  47. Chiara Azada says:

    Alan Cayetano yan ang VP ko

  48. solvent rugs says:

    Wala kaming mapapala sayo.

  49. tes says:

    The different faces of Corruption!!

  50. mark says:

    big “NO” to marcos!!!!

  51. Dre Vet says:

    Ako ang taong may paninindigan katulad ni sen. alan, kaya hinding hindi ako boboto sa iba.

  52. aries says:

    we dont like marcos in high position in goverment.

  53. Stefan Bernoulli says:

    The most selfish politician (family perhaps) in the history of the Philippines.

  54. Daniel Sicad says:

    our nation truly need a vice president who is loyal to hte country and most importantly not corrupt, please vote wisely, Vote Cayetano for VP

  55. Anne Perez says:

    no to MARCOSES again!

  56. joshua lim says:

    so BBM is running for VP para may stepping stone para maging presidente katulad ng kanyang ama. what a selfish plan. i ‘d rather vote for someone who thinks for the betterment of the country. i’ll vote surely for Cayetano. #parasapagbabago

  57. Eman Sibado says:

    Ayoko na maulit ang nangyari noon. NO TO MARCOSES!

  58. christopher manlangit says:

    we the sensible citizens of the republic know who to vote for, and we will definetely vote for you sen. Cayetano. This is the right time for changes!

  59. Michael Joe Ordan says:

    Wag hayaang magdusa ang pilipinas. Wag iboto si marcos.

  60. mariano ponce says:

    Never forget! Martial Law!

  61. Dylan Malasa says:


  62. Dylan Malasa says:

    The Marcos family engaged the country in millions of debts and now he;s trying to run for VP and for what? To do the same thing what his family did?

  63. Abegail Marigondon says:

    Pssss, pareho lang kayo ng pamilya mo! mga dictador!

  64. alexis tesino says:

    gusto mo lang ipatuloy ang nasimulan ng tatay mo! naku wag nalang!

  65. maria mapalad says:


  66. mickey dy says:


  67. tibursyo mawrisyo says:

    ang nagawa nang ama ay tama sa mata nang anak! sorry BBM

  68. miguel contreras says:

    basta po para sa akin si Cayetano lang ang pinaka qualified maging VP, matapang maprinsipyo at hindi corrupt.

  69. Jayrick Ramos says:

    Cayetano is my VP no matter what

  70. maria mapalad says:


  71. adolfo tolentino says:

    Hay nako, eto nanaman. nag papapilinis nanaman ng budhi. alam na po namin lahat ang baho niyo!

    • Bobby Bagos says:

      Sa wakas, akala ko pa naman lahat na ng kababayan natin ay harapan lang nila ang kanilang nakikita. Meron pa din pa lang napapansin kung ano ang mga nasa tagiliran nila. Alam naman natin na halos lahat ng kumakandito ay walang pakialam sa kapakanan ng ating bansa at sa ating mga kababayan dahil kung iyon ang misyon nila kaya sila na sa pulitika eh bakit palpak pa din ang takbo ng ating bansa. Parang yung mga bagyong tumatama sa ating bansa, alam nila ang pinsalang ginagawa nito pero ang gubyerno ay wala namang ginagawa para ang tubig ng baha ay hindi paminsala ang buhay ng taong bayan. They need to build an effective flood control system and for God sake, keep it free of debris. And quit relying on other countries to come to our aid everytime something like this happen.

  72. jed lorenzo says:

    pansariling interes kaya sya tatakbo ng VP. at yan ang gusto ng nanay nya. hay naku. maawa naman kayo sa Pinas. kaya ako iboboto ko si Cayetano dahil sya lang ang may advocacy na hindi pansarili.yan ay ang para sa bayan.ang pagbabago ng sistema sa bansa.

  73. sheena bongcaras says:

    please never again to martial law!

    hope, trust and changes = DUTERTE – CAYETANO!

  74. thelma marie octavio says:

    kaya naman pala sya tatakbo bilang VP kasi para sa sariling kapakanan.tsk. iboboto ko talaga si Cayetano dahil para sa bayan ang kanyang mga adhikain.

  75. sid says:

    Agree with majority of comments–BIG NO TO MARCOS.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *