MANILA, Philippines – After her conviction for graft, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos withdrew her candidacy for Ilocos Norte governor.
This was confirmed to Rappler by Imelda’s chief of staff Bebot Diaz on Thursday, November 29, the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) deadline for candidates to file for substitution.
Imelda’s grandson, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, will run for governor instead. Manotoc, the son of Ilocos Norte Governor and senatorial aspirant Imee Marcos, originally filed his candidacy for vice governor.
According to Diaz, Board Member Mariano “Nonong” Marcos has substituted Manotoc for the vice gubernatorial race.
Nonong Marcos is the son of Pacifico, the younger brother of Imelda’s husband and late ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Manotoc announced in a Facebook post at 7 pm that he will substitute for his grandmother for the gubernatorial race.
“Previously, he had filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Vice Governor of the province, but has since decided to substitute his grandmother, 2nd District Rep. Imelda R. Marcos, in the 2019 gubernatorial race,” Manotoc said.
Commenters in his curated post said that it is a sure win for Manotoc, a champion amateur golfer like his dad, Tommy Manotoc.
Manotoc is running with the motto “Mangbiag, mangpapipigsa, mangidaulo (To revive, to strengthen, to lead).”
Manotoc will be running against Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Rodolfo Fariñas, who substituted for former Barangay Bengcag, Laoag City Jesus Arimbuyotan as gubernatorial bet on Thursday.
Fariñas is the candidate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
On November 9, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan found Imelda guilty of illegally creating and maintaining private organizations in Switzerland, where she earned at least $200 million from interest and investments for the “private benefit” of the former first family. (READ: Imee, Bongbong Marcos were beneficiaries of illegal Swiss foundations)
She was sentenced to prison for 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each of the 7 counts of graft. She was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
Imelda has since filed a notice of appeal with the Sandiganbayan, saying she wants to go straight to the Supreme Court to appeal her guilty verdict. But the court said her appeal is premature. – with reports from Frank Cimatu/Rappler.com