The Manila Times : Fariñas vs Marcos looms in 2022

News & Interviews
19 August 2021

By Frederick Nasiad | The Manila Times

The eldest son of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is being primed to run for the first congressional district of Ilocos Norte but standing in the way is Rep. Ria Christina Fariñas who is seeking reelection in 2022.

Fariñas is expected to run anew and this could thwart the plan of the Marcos family to increase the already numerous political seats they hold.

The incumbent lawmaker is the daughter of former Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and former actress Maria Teresa Carlson. The Fariñas family has ruled the First District of Ilocos Norte for over four decades even as the Marcos family controlled the Second District.

In a Youtube video, Marcos was quoted as saying that his eldest son, Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos, is qualified to run for a congressional seat to represent the First District of the province. Sandro is the grandson of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

Bongbong, who ran for vice president in 2016, is expected to seek another national position in the 2022 polls. His sister, Imee, is an incumbent senator while his nephew, Matthew Marcos Manotoc, is currently the governor of Ilocos Norte.

Matthew's aunt, Cecille Araneta Marcos, is vice governor. Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba was elected as representative of the Second District, in place of former first lady. Another Marcos' scion, Michael Marcos Keon, is the mayor of Laoag City, according to Dindo Danao, a public relations strategist.

"Standing in their way is Ria Christina Fariñas, 37, a member of the ruling PDP-Laban Party who served as board member of Ilocos Norte for six years before being elected as member of the House of Representatives in 2019, making her the first ever female representative of the district," said Danao, who is familiar with the political dynamics in the area.

Rodolfo served as governor of Ilocos Norte from 1988 to 1998 and was voted as congressman representing the First District from 2010 to 2019. He withdrew from the 2019 gubernatorial race to give way to Manotoc who ran unopposed.

The Fariñas and Marcos political families have co-existed peacefully in Ilocos Norte for decades, as they ruled the province into two districts, one controlled by the Fariñas family and the other by the Marcos clan.

Danao said the likely Marcos-Fariñas "face-off" in the 2022 congressional bid would weaken the bid of Bongbong for a national position, as they would further split the electorate of Ilocos Norte.