political dynasties

Abadillas, Ablans, Naluptas of Ilocos Norte: Where are they now?

John Michael Mugas
Abadillas, Ablans, Naluptas of Ilocos Norte: Where are they now?
The battle for Batac, in Ilocos Norte, is between two former allied clans, the Chuas and the Naluptas
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Political Dynasties 2022: Fariñas clan foil to Marcos power in Ilocos Norte

Political Dynasties 2022: Fariñas clan foil to Marcos power in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY, Philippines – Before the Marcoses came back from exile and reconsolidated power in Ilocos Norte, the “Cuadro de Alas,” a group of four dominant political families – the Fariñases, Abadillas, Ablans, and Naluptas – ruled the province.

The Fariñases remain the only Ilokano family that can challenge the heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, though all three clans still have members in elective office.

The Ablans once had a giant, Roque “Roquito” Ablan Jr., a legislator who served 1968 to 1998. He reclaimed the position in 2001 and held it until 2010.

Roquito was the son of former Ilocos Norte governor Roque Ablan. The former legislator was very close to the dictator Marcos and served as special adviser from 1973 to 1980.

Ablan led the roster of 49 congressmen who “sponsored and flew” to Hawaii to return the remains of the late dictator to the Philippines.

The only Ablan running now for an elective post is Roque Benjamin, who seeks a council seat under Team Marcos.

Michael Kristian Ablan, who lost as vice mayoral candidate in the 2016 elections, has held the position as undersecretary at the Presidential Communications Office.

The Naluptas used to control Batac until they lost in 2019 to another Marcos-backed political family, the Chuas. In the 2022 elections, the two families are squaring off again. 

Reelectionist Mayor Albert Chua’s running mate is his older brother, Windell, a former Ilocos Norte vice governor and provincial government administrator. Council bet Mark Christian “Markee” Chua is Windell’s son. 

Their challengers are mayoral candidate James Paul Nalupta and his running mate and brother, Jed.

Jeffrey Jubal is contesting the 2nd District congressional seat against incumbent Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba, the son of the late dictator’s youngest sister Fortuna Marcos-Barba. Another Nalupta brother, Julius Marcus, is also running for a seat in the 1st District provincial board.

Violeta, wife of their brother, is seeking a council seat. 

The Fariñases and the Naluptas are allies because both clans are defending their turf from the Marcos dynasty or their proxies. But the Nalupta clan and the Chuas were once allies, too.

Albert and another Nalupta, Jeffrey Jubal, were running mates in the 2016 elections. They were supposed to swap positions in 2019, but the Chuas jumped ship to the Marcoses.

The Abadillas were led by the late retired colonel Rolando Abadilla, chief of the Military Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) during the Marcos dictatorship, coup plotter against the late president Corazon Aquino, and vice governor of the province.

He was cleared both for his involvement in the coup and in a case filed by survivors of arrest and torture under the Marcos regime.

On June 13, 1996, Abadilla died in a Quezon City ambush later claimed by the Alex Boncayao Brigade.

Banna town, also in the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte, is still widely under the control of the Abadillas.

Banna town incumbent Mayor Carlito is the son of Rolando’s brother, also named Carlito. Carlito II is running as vice mayor this year. – Rappler.com