Ferdinand "Bongbong" Romualdez Marcos Jr. (born September 13, 1957) is a Filipino politician and former senator in the 16th Congress of the Philippines. He is the second child and only son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.
|Senator of the Philippines|
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2016
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives
from Ilocos Norte's 2nd district
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2010
|Preceded by||Imee Marcos|
|Succeeded by||Imelda Marcos|
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 1995
|Preceded by||Mariano Nalupta|
|Succeeded by||Simeon Valdez|
|Governor of Ilocos Norte|
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
|Preceded by||Rodolfo Fariñas|
|Succeeded by||Michael Marcos Keon|
|Preceded by||Elizabeth Keon|
|Succeeded by||Rodolfo Fariñas|
|Born||Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.
September 13, 1957
|Political party||Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (1980–2009)
|Relatives||Ferdinand Marcos (Father)
Imelda Marcos (Mother)
Imee Marcos (Sister)
|Education||St Edmund Hall, Oxford
University of Pennsylvania
Marcos served as Governor of Ilocos Norte (1983–1986, 1998–2007) and as Representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte (1992–1995, 2007–2010) under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the political party founded by his father. He was also Deputy Minority Leader during his second term in the House of Representatives. In 2010, Marcos was elected as Senator of the Philippines under the Nacionalista Party. Senator Marcos chairs several senate committees, including the Committee on Local Government and the Committee on Public Works, and is a member of several other committees.
On October 5, 2015, Marcos announced his candidacy for Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 election. With a difference of 263,473 votes, 0.64 percent difference, Marcos suffered a narrow and controversial loss to Leni Robredo.
Early life and education
Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., nicknamed 'Bongbong', was born on September 13, 1957, to then Representative Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez. He studied in Institucion Teresiana and La Salle Greenhills in Manila, where he obtained his kindergarten and elementary education, respectively.
In 1970, Marcos was sent to England where he lived and studied at the Worth School, an all-boys Benedictine institution. Thereafter, he matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford to read Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE). However, despite his false claims that he graduated with a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, he did not obtain a degree and instead received a Special Diploma in Social Studies, which is given to students who have dropped out of their university course.
Marcos enrolled in the Masters in Business Administration program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, U.S. However, he was unable to complete the course because of his election as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980.
Early roles in public view
Although his career as a politician would formally begin at age 23 when he became Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte, his father’s political profile meant that the Marcos children, particularly Bongbong and his sister Imee, became an integral part of the Marcos propaganda machine.Bongbong was thrust into the national limelight as early as when he was three years old, and the scrutiny became even more intense when his father first ran for President of the Philippines in 1965.
During his father's 1965 campaign, Bongbong played himself in a Sampaguita Pictures film "Iginuhit ng Tadahana", a biopic based on the heavily-portrayal of Ferdinand Marcos in the novel "For Every Tear a Victory." The young Marcos was portrayed giving a speech towards the end of the film, in which he says that he would like to be "a politician" when he grows up. The public relations value of the film is credited for having helped the elder Marcos to win the 1965 Philippine Elections.
Another prominent instance in which young Bongbong Marcos was the subject of intense media coverage was his "haircut" interview during the "Beatles Live in Manila" incident of July 1966, just one year after the Marcos Family came to Malacañang.
On the Beatles' first and only trip to the Philippines, Bongbong's Mother Imelda organized reception for the fab four in Malacañang palace, with 400 children - including Bongbong and his sister Imee - in attendance. As the event went on without the Beatles appearing, the Marcos children were interviewed. Bongbong's sister Imee remarked "There is only one song I like from the Beatles, and it’s Run for Your Life." - a quote which media later associated with the way the Beatles scrambled out of Manila X days later, receiving rough treatment at the Manila International Airport. Bongbong, in the meantime, was quoted referring to the group's long hair, saying
"I’d like to pounce on the Beatles and cut off their hair! Don’t anybody dare me to do anything, because I’ll do it, just to see how game the Beatles are."
The group is reputed to have sworn never to return to the Philippines due to the incident. Later becoming a Beatles fan himself, Bongbong Marcos has said he has made overtures to surviving Beatle Ringo Star to come back and visit the country.
Participation in the Marcos administration
The young Bongbong Marcos was just 15 in 1972 when his father declared Martial Law, and was in the United Kingdom because he had been sent to board at the boys-only Worth School in West Sussex. He turned 18 in 1975, a year after he graduated from Worth school. Since he was technically a minor at the exact year Martial Law was declared, Bongbong Marcos and parties connected to him have often insisted that neither he nor his sister Imee should be blamed for any wrongdoings during their father’s dictatorship.
However, government investigators who cataloged the wealth of the Marcoses after the 1986 ouster found that the three Marcos children, who all reached adulthood before 1980, and long before 1986, benefited significantly from what they called the "ill-gotten wealth" of the Marcos family. In addition, by the time their father was ousted from power in 1986, both Bongbong and Imee Marcos held held key posts in the Marcos administration. Imee was already thirty when she was appointed as the national head of the Kabataang Barangay in the late 1970s, and Bongbong himself was in his twenties when he took up the vice-gubernatorial post for the province of Ilocos Norte in 1980, and then became Governor of that province from 1983 until the Marcos family was ousted from Malacañang in 1986.
Unexplained Marcos wealth
Bongbong Marcos turned 18 in 1975, three years after the imposition of Martial Law in 1972; he was twenty-three years old by the time Martial Law was lifted in 1981, and was twenty-eight in 1986 when the Marcos family was ousted by the EDSA revolution. Since he had reached the age of majority and were "already adults during the height of the martial law regime,” government investigators and critics alike consider him, in the words of Congressman Edcel Lagman, "old enough when the documented atrocities and plunder were committed by the conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.” Although generally considered to have benefitted from the Marcos family's unexplained wealth, properties said to have specifically been given to Bongbong Marcos included the Wigwam House compound on Outlook Drive in Baguio City, and the Seaside Mansion Compound in Parañaque; according to government investogators after the EDSA revolution, each of the Marcos children was assigned a mansion in the Metro Manila area, as well as in Baguio City, the Philippines' designated summer capital. The same govenrment investigators found that the tuition and USD 10,000.00 monthly allowance of Bongbong Marcos at Wharton college and of Imee Marcos at Princeton could be traced to some of the 15 bank accounts that the Marcoses had secretly opened in the US under assumed names.
Vice Governorship and Governorship of Ilocos Norte
Bongbong Marcos' first formal role in a political office came with his election as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte (1980–1983) at the young age of 23. In 1983, he led a group of young Filipino leaders on a 10-day diplomatic mission to China to mark the 10th anniversary of Philippine-Chinese relations.
Marcos succeeded as Governor of Ilocos Norte (1983–1986) which he served until the People Power Revolution ousted his family from power. He then lived in political exile with his family in Hawaii, United States.
During Bongbong Marcos’ term, at least two extra-judicial killings took place in Ilocos Norte, a point raised by organizations like the Martial Law Victims Association of Ilocos Norte (MLVAIN) during Marcos’ lost campaign for the Vice Presidency in 2016.
Additionally, Bongbong Marcos’ father appointed him chairman of the board of Philippine Communications Satellite Corp (Philcomsat) in early 1985. In a prominent example of what Finance Minister Jaime Ongpin later branded “crony capitalism,” the Marcos administration had sold its majority shares to Marcos cronies such as Roberto S. Benedicto, Manuel H Nieto, Jose Yao Campos, and Rolando Gapud  in 1982, despite being very profitable because of its role as the sole agent for the Philippines’ link to global satellite network Intelsat. Philippine government investigators later found that President Marcos acquired a 39.9% share - USD 19.95 million worth - in the company through front companies under Campos and Gapud. This allowed the elder Marcos to appoint Bongbong chairman of the Philcomsat board in early 1985, allowing Bongbong to draw a monthly salary "ranging from USD9,700 to USD97,000" despite rarely visiting the office and having “no duties there.”
Philcomsat was one of five telecommunications firms sequestered by the Philippine government in 1986 after government investigators discovered that they had together funneled a “steady flow” of “tens of millions of dollars” out of the Philippines over the course of 10 to 15 years.
EDSA Revolution, ouster, and exile
During the last days of the 1986 People Power Revolution, Bongbong Marcos, in combat fatigues to project his warlike stance, pushed his father Ferdinand Marcos to give the order to his remaining troops attack and blow up Camp Crame despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of civilians there, nevertheless, the elder Marcos did not follow his son's urgings.
In 2011, the South China Morning Post reported that Bongbong Marcos had admitted having “had a direct hand in trying to withdraw US$200 million from a secret family bank account with Credit Suisse in Switzerland.”  The paper also noted that it was Bongbong Marcos who pushed a 1995 deal to allow the Marcos family to keep a quarter of the estimated US$2 billion to US$10 billion that the Philippine government had still not recovered from them, on the condition that all civil cases be dropped - a deal that was eventually struck down by the Philippines’ supreme court.
Return, and later political career
Bongbong Marcos was among the first of the Marcos family to return to the Philippines in 1991, and soon sought political office, beginning in the family's traditional bailiwick in Ilocos Norte.
Congress, first term
In 1992, Marcos was elected as representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte to the Philippine House of Representatives (1992–1995). During his term, Marcos was the author of 29 House bills and co-author of 90 more, which includes those that paved the way for the creation of the Department of Energy and the National Youth Commission. He was also instrumental in advancing the cause of cooperatives by devoting most of his Countryside Development Fund (CDF) to organizing the cooperatives of teachers and farmers in his home province. In 1995, Marcos ran for a seat in the Philippine Senate but lost.
Ilocos Norte governor
Marcos was again elected as Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998, running against his father's closest friend and ally, Roque Ablan Jr. He served for three consecutive terms ending in 2007. According to his own website, Marcos "transformed Ilocos Norte into a first-class province of international acclaim, by showcasing its natural and cultural destinations." He also pioneered the wind power technology that serves as an alternative source of energy in Ilocos Norte and other parts of Luzon.
Congress, second term
In 2007, Marcos ran unopposed for the congressional seat previously held by his older sister Imee. He was then appointed as Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. During this term, one of the important pieces of legislation he authored was the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law, or Republic Act No. 9522. He also promoted the Republic Act No. 9502 (Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act) which was enacted on 2009.
In 1995, Marcos ran for the Senate under the NPC-led coalition, but placed only 16th. He made a second attempt for the Senate in 2010, this time securing a Senate seat by placing seventh overall. As of February 2016[update], he is the chairman of the Senate committees on local government and public works. He also chairs the oversight committee on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Organic Act, the congressional oversight panel on the Special Purpose Vehicle Act, and a select oversight committee on barangay affairs.
In the 15th Congress (2010–2013), Marcos was the author of 34 Senate bills and was co-author of 17 more, 7 of which became Republic Acts. Among them are the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and the National Health Insurance Act.
In the 16th Congress (2013–2016), Marcos has authored 52 bills, with one enacted into law. His Senate Bill 1186, which sought the postponement of the 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, later became Republic Act 10632 on October 3, 2013.
Marcos has also co-authored 4 Senate bills. One of them, Senate Bill 712, was approved as Republic Act 10645 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
On November 20, 2009, the KBL forged an alliance with the Nacionalista Party (NP) between Marcos and NP chairman Senator Manny Villar at the Laurel House in Mandaluyong City. Marcos became a guest senatorial candidate of the NP through this alliance. Marcos was later removed as a member by the KBL National Executive Committee on November 23, 2012. As such, the NP broke its alliance with the KBL due to internal conflicts within the party, however Bongbong remained part of the NP senatorial line-up. He was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 senate elections. He took office on June 30, 2010.
Pork Barrel Scam
In 2014, Bongbong Marcos was implicated by Janet Lim Napoles and Benhur Luy in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) Pork Barrel scam through agent Catherine Mae "Maya" Santos.
Marcos was said to have channeled P100 million through 4 fake NGOs linked with Napoles through the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC): Ginintuang Alay sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc (P5 million), Agricultura sa Magbubukid Foundation Inc (P25 million), Kaupdanan para sa Mangungugma Foundation Inc (P25 million), and Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation Inc (P45 million). Marcos claimed that the large amounts of money was released by the budget department without his knowledge and that his signatures were forged.
In 2016, Marcos was also sued for plunder for funneling P205 million of his PDAF via 9 special allotment release orders (SARO) to the following bogus foundations from October 2011 to January 2013, according to Luy's digital files:
- Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation (SDPFFI) - P15m
- Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development Foundation (CARED) - P35m
- People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation (POPDFI) - P40m
- Health Education Assistance Resettlement Training Services (HEARTS) - P10m
- Kaupdanan Para Sa Mangunguma Foundation (KMFI) - P20m
- National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) - P100m
Vice-presidential bid, 2016
On October 5, 2015, Marcos announced via his website his candidacy for Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 general election stating "I have decided to run for Vice President in the May 2016 elections." Marcos ran as an independent candidate. Prior to his announcement, he had declined an invitation by presidential candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay, to become his running mate. On October 15, 2015 presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago confirmed that Marcos would serve as her running mate.
This section contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (October 2016)
"Ipaubaya natin ang kasaysayan sa mga propesor, sa mga nag-aaral tungkol sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Kami hindi namin trabaho yun. Ang trabaho namin ay tingnan kung ano ba ang pangangailangan ng taong bayan ngayon." (Let us leave history to the professors, to those who study the history of the Philippines. It is not our job. Our job is to look at what the people need at present.)
"In response to Ferdinand "Bongbong" Romualdez Marcos, Jr.'s call that teachers and students of history should make a judgment about the Marcos administration, we, the undersigned members of the Ateneo de Manila community, vehemently oppose and condemn the ongoing willful distortion of our history. We deplore the shameless refusal to acknowledge the crimes of the Martial Law regime. We reject the revision of history, disturbing vision of the future, and shallow call for "unity" being presented by Marcos Jr. and like-minded candidates in the 2016 elections.
"The Marcos regime's economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Philippines. The regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building, nor genuine social transformation of the country, despite its "New Society" rhetoric. Instead, Marcos was mainly concerned with perpetuating his personal hold on power by favoring family members, friends, and other cronies. Thus, Marcos simply created new elites or "oligarchs" rather than abolish them – supposedly one of his main justifications for declaring martial law. Those who dared challenge the regime's monopoly on power, whether politicians, business people, political activists, organized labor, peasants or urban poor, Church workers, students – young or old, rich or poor – were intimidated, imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured or summarily executed.
"We refuse to forget the atrocities committed by the Marcos regime, and we renew our demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice. We also reiterate our position that the government should relentlessly pursue and reclaim all the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the Marcos family and its cronies. Moreover, victims and their families should be given justice and compensation in full. Any call for unity, most especially from the heirs of the Marcos regime which bitterly divided the country, will be empty and meaningless unless truth and justice are upheld."
To this, Marcos replied: "...people have their own opinion; they have the right to their opinion. We'll agree to disagree, I guess."
On March 7, 2016, more than 1,400 Catholic Schools through the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) joined the call of the Ateneo faculty through a statement titled "CEAP Supports Call Against Marcosian Snares and Imeldific Lies". In it, they stated:
The Trustees of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, representing the 1,425 CEAP member-schools, colleges, and universities, support the faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University in their call against the attempt of Ferdinand Marcos Jr to canonize the harrowing horrors of martial rule.
"With the same fervor, we cry our hearts out, 'Never Again!'"
On March 28, 2016, the Department of History of the University of the Philippines Diliman released a statement entitled "Malakas at Maganda: Marcos Reign, Myth-Making and Deception in History". In it, they stated:
"Great danger now lurks behind a deceptive nostalgia for a past that never really existed—that the Marcos years were a period of peace and prosperity. This is patently Marcos myth and deception. Under martial law, the country was plunged into a climate of repression and plunder and then into a social crisis that exploded in the 1980s.
"...it was in fact under martial law that the communist and Moro rebellions grew in leaps and bounds. Marcos claimed to break up an old oligarchy, but martial law instead created a new type under his control, a crony oligarchy.
"Economic crises characterized the Marcos years, as economists have consistently revealed, the most telling indicator was the extent of poverty. Poverty incidence grew from 41% in the 1960s to 59% in the 1980s. Vaunted growth was far from inclusive and driven by debt, which further weighed down on the nation. From 1970 to 1983, foreign debt increased twelve times and reached $20 billion (Dr. Manuel Montes, 1984). It grew at anaverage rate of 25% from 1970 to 1981. Much went to unproductive expenses like the Bataan Nuclear Plant, which was unsound and wasteful.
"To say then that EDSA interrupted our becoming like Singapore is a big joke, a malicious lie. Marcos had mismanaged the economy; it was in shambles long before the EDSA revolt. From 1970 to 1980, among East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines registered the lowest GDP per capita at 3.4% [sic] (An Analysis of Economic Crisis, ed. Dr. Emmanuel de Dios, 1984). Peace and order, a spurious claim, actually meant an iron-fisted clampdown on civil liberties. Through presidential decree and executive order backed by the full force of the military apparatus, Marcos padlocked Congress, jailed the opposition, gagged media, emasculated unions, and banned student councils. Thousands were jailed without warrant and due process, not to mention countless killings and disappeared. Yet the national crime rate climbed continuously from 183 in 1976 to 279 (per 100,000) in 1980 (De Dios, ed. 1984 citing Philippine Constabulary data). In 14 long years, repression had also stunted the growth of independent-minded new leaders from the younger generation.
"We reject deception and demand accountability!"
Human rights violation denial
On the stories of human rights abuses during his father's administration, Marcos describes them as "self-serving statements by politicians, self-aggrandizement narratives, pompous declarations, and political posturing and propaganda."
He is married to Louise Cacho Araneta, with 3 sons: Ferdinand Alexander III "Sandro" (born 1994), Joseph Simon (born 1995) and William Vincent "Vince" (born 1997).
Bongbong Marcos has a dedicated group of online supporters calling themselves BBM Online Warriors (BOW), and on December 2016, he celebrated a Christmas party with them.
On June 2017, Rogue magazine Philippines did an audit of different Filipino Twitter celebrity and politician accounts and discovered that Bongbong Marcos had the most number of fake followers at 44.19%, with other celebrity and politician accounts' fake followers ranging from just 7%-23%.
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- University of the Philippines Department of History (March 28, 2016). "Malakas at Maganda: Marcos Reign, Myth-Making and Deception in History".
- Aries Joseph Hegina (March 30, 2016). "Marcos deception seeks to evade accountability—UP Dept. of History". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
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- Tan, Kimberly Jane (September 21, 2012). "Martial Law in the eyes of the late strongman Marcos' son". GMA News.
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- Catolico, Gianna Francesca (December 15, 2016). "LOOK: Bongbong Marcos hosts Christmas party for online supporters". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- "Who has the Most Fake Followers on Filipino Twitter?". Rogue.ph. Rogue magazine Philippines. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- "VERA FILES YEARENDER: Who benefited most from fake news, and other questions, answered in three charts". Vera Files. December 22, 2017.
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