2022 Philippine Elections

Neophyte Sandro Marcos defeats Fariñas in Ilocos Norte 1st district

John Michael Mugas
Neophyte Sandro Marcos defeats Fariñas in Ilocos Norte 1st district

WINNER. Poll officials in Ilocos Norte proclaim Sandro Marcos, son of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., as 1st district representative.

John Michael Mugas

The 27-year-old son of Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. unseats the incumbent Ria Fariñas

ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines – The Commission on Elections Board of Canvassers for Ilocos Norte proclaimed political neophyte 28-year-old Sandro Marcos the winner in the heated race for the province’s first district representative.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Sandro Marcos’s age was 27. This has been corrected.

Sandro, the oldest son of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., received 108,423 votes to the 83,034 votes of incumbent Ria Fariñas, the daughter of veteran politician Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas.

“It is truly an honor to stand before my kakailian (province mates) and be called the congressman-elect of the 1st district of Ilocos Norte. Thank you to all of you for giving me the privilege to serve, there’s much work to be done,” Marcos said after he was proclaimed Tuesday afternoon, May 10.

The young Marcos’ challenge was the reason Rudy came out of retirement to challenge the governor post, which he also lost to incumbent Matthew Manotoc, son of Senator Imee Manotoc.

While campaigning, Fariñas kept harping that his involvement “is for Ria.”

For decades, the two dominant political families drew clear political bases in the province.

The Fariñases had the 1st district and the capital city of Laoag; the Marcoses controlled the capitol and the 2nd district.

The Marcoses have now officially dislodged the Fariñas clan, although incumbent Laoag Mayor Michael Keon, who defeated Cheyville Fariñas in the mayoral race, is estranged from the heirs of the late dictator.

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“I think my past experiences have actually well prepared me for this moment,” Sandro said in March as he cited his past stint working at the Office of the House Majority Leader.

On the campaign trail, Marcos said that he would push for laws that would spur agribusiness in the province, economic recovery, and sustainability of education and businesses. – Rappler.com

John Michael Mugas is a Luzon-based fellow and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.