The son and namesake of the late Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was deposed in 1986 after ruling the Philippines for more than 20 years, was reportedly inspired by a Marvel superhero to run for president.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. decided to join the 2022 Philippine presidential race after watching Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man,” according to his wife Liza Araneta Marcos in a recent interview with Filipino talk show host Boy Abunda.
The 64-year-old presidential aspirant last ran for office in 2016 but lost the vice presidential position to then congresswoman Leni Robredo, one of the frontrunners of the current Philippine presidential race.
According to his wife, Marcos Jr. was still undecided about his plans as recently as six months ago.
“You know, six months ago, he wasn’t so sure what to do, with no party,” she said. “And then one day we’re watching ‘Ant-Man’… and then he looked at me and he goes, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this,’ he told me. ‘Do what?’ ‘Run for the presidency.’”
Marcos Jr. announced his intention to run for president on October 5, 2021 before filing his candidacy the next day.
The anecdote sparked online backlash for seemingly associating Marcos Jr. with Ant-Man’s redemption story. Some social media users found it fitting that the son of the man who holds the Guinness World Record for “Greatest robbery of a Government” was inspired by a Marvel superhero who spent time in prison.
The Marvel Studios film tells the story of Scott Lang, a convicted thief who becomes the superhero Ant-Man after he steals a high-tech suit that can shrink him into the size of an ant.
To be clear, Ant-Man is a “Heist Movie”. A genre that focuses on the “planning, execution and aftermath of a large robbery.”
I’ve serious concerns about anyone who gets inspired to run for President while watching Ant-man.
— John Molo (@iamJohnMolo) March 10, 2022
Like the character of Lang, Marcos Jr. was also convicted of a crime. In 1995, he was convicted for tax evasion after failing to file an income tax return for the period of 1982 to 1985 – the time in which he held positions as the vice governor and governor of Ilocos Norte.
Unlike Lang, however, Marcos Jr. did not serve his prison sentence of seven years. The Quezon City Regional Trial Court certified in 2021 that no records on file exist regarding “compliance of payment or satisfaction” in relation to the tax evasion case.
Marcos Jr. was banned from entering any U.S. territory after the District Court of Hawaii held him and his mother Imelda Marcos in contempt in 2011. Both were fined around $353.6 million for disrespecting an injunction that commanded them not to dissipate the assets of Ferdinand Marcos’ estate.
Marcos Jr. has also been accused of promoting “historical revisionism” aimed at whitewashing his father’s regime by citing the country’s economic growth and minimizing the rampant corruption, extravagance and brutality at the time.
Featured Image via CNN Philippines