MANILA, May 22 -- The wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Monday joined ranks with her son in protesting what he alleges was cheating by the government to derail his senatorial bid in recent elections. Backed by her lawyers, former first lady Imelda Marcos marched with Ferdinand Marcos Jr., known locally as 'Bongbong,' to a podium in front of the Commission on Elections, which is counting votes for the Senate race in the May 8 local and legislative elections. The latest counts place the younger Marcos in 16th place, four slots away from obtaining one of the 12 Senate seats in the election. Only votes in six of 98 provinces are still being counted. In a five-minute speech, the younger Marcos called for a recounting of votes in Manila, central Philippines' Cebu city and three other southern provinces. Marcos said he could not have lost in the Agusan region, some 500 miles (800 km) south of Manila, because 'my mommy won (in that province) when she ran in the 1992 presidential election.' The 37-year-old politician has alleged a coalition backed by President Fidel Ramos hired election workers to count several thousand ballots cast for him as votes for two administration bets. He said when his camp has gathered enough evidence to prove massive cheating, he would 'name the conspirators' and call for the suspension of the proclamation of winning candidates. Mrs. Marcos, often reported to be at odds with her son, backed his protest.
'I am very supportive of my son and hope the truth will come out,' she said. The Marcoses' sudden appearance at election headquarters failed to cause a stir. After Marcos spoke, commission chairman Bernardo Pardo told the election officials to continue with the counting. Mrs. Marcos is facing trouble with her bid for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives as well. She won a landslide victory for that race in her home province of Leyte, 360 miles (576 km) south of Manila but was disqualified by the election commission for allegedly violating a regulation that required her to live in Leyte for at least 12 months before running for office. Both mother and son are attempting to regain political power their family lost when a revolt deposed the elder Marcos in 1986. He died in U.S exile in 1989.