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Marcos widow to seek 2nd term as congresswoman in Philippines

MANILA -- The 83-year-old widow of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos will seek a second term as congresswoman, an aide said Monday, as the family seeks to extend a remarkable political comeback.

Imelda Marcos plans to file her candidacy this week for next year's midterm elections to represent Ilocos Norte, a northern province where the patriarch was born and which has for decades been the main support base for the family.

“She is filing her candidacy for congresswoman in Ilocos Norte. The filing is most likely Wednesday or Thursday,” her chief of staff, Filadelfo Diaz, told AFP.

Her daughter, Imee, 56, who was elected governor of Ilocos Norte in 2010, will also seek a second three-year term, her chief aide, Elena Mequitola, told AFP.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., 55, the son and namesake of the ex-president, remains one of the country's highest-profile politicians after winning a six-year term in the Senate in the 2010 elections.

Imelda Marcos has said repeatedly she wants her son to become president, and “Bongbong” has fuelled speculation over the past two years that he may make a run for the nation's top job in 2016.

Ferdinand Marcos, elected in 1965, declared martial law in 1972, padlocking the legislature and the media, throwing opponents in jail and ruling by decree until a “people power” revolution threw him out of power in 1986.

Marcos, as well as his relatives and allies, were accused of plundering billions of dollars during his reign, and the family was forced to flee to the United States.

Imelda Marcos's ostentatious wearing of luxurious clothes and shoes, while most Filipinos endured poverty, came to symbolize the excesses of the family's time in power.

However, after Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in 1989, his wife and children returned to the Philippines and slowly started rebuilding the family's power base.

They have never been convicted of any crime, which they say is proof that the worst allegations against the family are baseless.

The Marcos political momentum reached a peak in 2010, when Imelda won her congressional seat, Imee the governorship and “Bongbong” a spot in the Senate.

When asked why Imelda and Imee wanted to seek second terms in office, their aides said they wanted to continue working on health, culture and other projects for the people of Ilocos Norte.

The filing of candidacies for the midterm elections began on Monday, with registration to close on Friday.

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