Verdict blow to political hopes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 1995, 12:00am

THE jail sentence handed down to Ferdinand 'Bong Bong' Marcos Jnr is another blow to the political ambitions of the Marcos family, whose fortunes have declined since they were exiled to Hawaii in 1986.

Marcos Jnr's bid to follow his father's political career as a Senator and then President came unstuck during the May 8 elections when he finished 16th among 32 starters for 12 Senate vacancies.

This prompted some political commentators to write him off as a serious candidate for national office in the future.

But observers believe it is unlikely the former governor of Ilocos Norte, the Marcos stronghold province, will go to jail, or that he will surrender his political ambitions.

'We expect that he will copy his mother, Imelda Marcos, and manage to stay out of jail while the case goes on appeal to the High Court,' a political analyst said.

Imelda Marcos was sentenced to 18 years in jail on charges of corruption connected with her 20-year tenure as first lady in Malacanang Palace, but she has kept the case on appeal for three years, even having enough freedom to score a landslide victory for Congress in her home province of Leyte during the May 8 elections.

But the Commission on Elections disqualified her victory on a residence technicality and refused to proclaim her an official winner.

She has also filed an appeal on this issue to the High Court, but the court appears to be deadlocked on the issue.

Most observers believe Marcos Jnr will run for Congress in Ilocos Norte during the presidential contest in 1998.

They say that he will probably contest the next presidential elections in 2004, while still young enough to appeal to young voters, who are emerging as a powerful constituency in the Philippines.