MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday announced that she would run in next year’s presidential election in a long-awaited move that would bring the liberal lawyer into a potentially deadly confrontation with the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Opposition leader Robredo has joined a growing list of contenders for the May 9 election after talks failed to unite the main candidates behind a single candidate who would go against the one President Rodrigo Duterte and his party in power will approve for the increasingly crowded 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 signed up to do it on Wednesday.
The president and vice-president are elected separately in the Philippines, and Robredo and Duterte have had a sour bond for years. She denounced her brutal crackdown on illegal drugs which has left thousands of mostly poor suspects dead and is the subject of an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
She also hit on Marcos Jr.’s refusal to apologize and express remorse for the thousands of human rights victims under his father’s dictatorial rule from 1972 to 1981.
A former lawmaker and social activist who fought for human rights and good governance, Robredo supported the protests of âpopular powerâ which resulted in the ousting of Marcos and became a harbinger of changes in authoritarian regimes around the world.
âWe must free ourselves from the current situation. I will fight, we will fight, âRobredo said at a televised press conference where she announced her candidacy but admitted she was facing a tough climb. “They have the money, the machines, an entire structure that can broadcast any story they want to project.”
“But no noise can bury the truth,” she said during her remarks, her supporters repeatedly chanting her name.
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 expletive outbursts, originally planned to run for vice-president of the PDP-Laban party he leads, but stepped down on Saturday after his popularity ratings worsened. dropped and prompted him to announce his retirement from politics.
Marcos Jr.’s candidacy immediately sparked a protest from activists who angrily recalled the widespread human rights atrocities that marked the era of martial law under his father. As he applied, more than 100 left-wing activists vowed to campaign against Marcos Jr. and burned the effigies of his father and Duterte, a Marcos ally.
Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday he was ready to face Robredo in the election and the other candidates.
Elder Marcos 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.