Incumbent Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc is “not too concerned” about the candidacy of veteran politician Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, November 17, the governor also took a dig at the veteran politician, saying he hoped the latter’s intention to run would be “sincere this time around.”
Manotoc said that his focus was not yet on the elections as he needed to pour time and attention on the province’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts.
The elder Fariñas formalized his bid to run as governor as he beat the deadline on candidate substitution on Monday, November 15. Fariñas replaced Juner Daniega Jacinto, who previously filed his certificate of candidacy on October 8 under the banner of Partido Para sa Demokratikong Reporma.
“If we base on the last elections, [Fariñas’ candidacy] was more of a distraction, or ploy, kumbaga tactic lang (just a tactic),” Manotoc said. He was referring to Fariñas’ filing as a candidate for governor in the 2019 elections only to drop it at the last minute and announce his retirement from politics.
Manotoc said the Marcos clan had cut no deals with the Fariñas family for the 2022 polls.
“So, hindi nila masasabi na we “broke the agreement” kasi wala namang agreement (They cannot say we broke the agreement because there was no agreement); we are not conversing with them,” said Manotoc.
When asked if the Marcoses would be open to “compromise” with the Fariñas camp for the 2022 polls, Manotoc said: “Right now, hindi siguro (maybe not).”
“Ang pamilya Marcos, hindi mahilig sa (The Marcos family is not into) backdoor negotiations. We are very upfront, very transparent,” Manotoc added.
He added that they are “comfortable” with their plans and the candidates they have fielded for the 2022 elections.
Manotoc said that there had also been no talks with his uncle, incumbent Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon, who decided to run as an independent candidate for reelection.
On Wednesday, November 17, incumbent Ilocos Norte first district representative Ria Fariñas, the daughter of Rudy, said their side would have wanted to broker a peace deal with the Marcoses in next year’s polls.
“Ado ti saan a mangnamnama nga ag-file isuna (Rudy), ngem isaksakit na ti anakna. Kapya kuma ti kayatmi with the Marcos family, ngem di da met kayat ti makikapya, palpalabanan da tayo met (Many did not expect that my father would file his candidacy, but he is showing concern to his daughter. We would have wanted to have peace with the Marcos family, but they don’t want to and they are challenging my position),” Fariñas said during a radio interview with Bombo Radyo.
What also prompted her father to come out of retirement was his desire to offer his aid in the COVID-19 pandemic response of the province, Ria said. – Rappler.com
John Michael Mugas is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.