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Filipina, Maria Leonor ‘Mayol’ Duterte, promoted from deputy mayor to face long-ruling president in coming polls
Julia “Jagjit” Dilan of New York City has announced that she will run with the daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for president of the Philippines.
Dilan, 44, who leads a social welfare group in the US, said she would be endorsed by a winner of the Manila mayoral election this year.
“My intention is to fight the corrupt government of president [Rodrigo] Duterte,” she said at a news conference.
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The announcement by the member of the Philippines’ mainly Catholic eastern Samar province comes days after former first lady Imelda Marcos said she would file nomination papers to run for president, months after she was forced to give up her four seats in Congress to end a court battle with authorities over presidential term limits.
“Will the true and more responsible and morally upright face of the Filipino be voted president in the 2019 elections?” Dilan said.
Dilan, who has served as vice-mayor of Basilan City in Mindanao, said she would campaign against poverty, graft and abuse of power and work to save the environment.
She sought a federal judiciary post and was appointed in March 2016 as a member of the board of the national drug abuse prevention office.
Dilan shares political lineage with her father-in-law Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the Philippines from 1969 to 1986 before being ousted in a bloody, bloodless popular uprising and later executed for treason.
When he died in 1989, he left behind a deeply divided and impoverished nation of some 100 million people that continued to struggle economically for almost three decades.
Ferdinand Marcos’ daughter Imelda Marcos, pictured in October last year, said she would run for president of the Philippines after her term as a congresswoman expired. Photograph: Phil Stewart/AP
Filipino politics is usually dominated by men and Duterte is the country’s first female president, in part because of a 2011 court ruling saying he had cheated to win an election in May 2016.
Dilan called Imelda Marcos’s potential presidential bid as a gift from God, saying: “What I’m being given from God is my father-in-law’s legacy and my entire family’s legacy and legacy of service.”
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Campaigning for the 10 May presidential elections will start after the congressional and local elections on 10 May. The two rivals to Duterte are former interior secretary Manuel Roxas and former basketball star turned congressman Abigail Valte.