Rudy Fariñas runs for Ilocos Norte governor vs Marcos’ grandson

Mara Cepeda

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Rudy Fariñas runs for Ilocos Norte governor vs Marcos’ grandson
The former House majority leader will go head to head against the grandson of graft convict and Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos

MANILA, Philippines – It’s going to be a war between former allies in Ilocos Norte.

Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Rodolfo Fariñas told Rappler that he has substituted as gubernatorial bet for ex-Barangay Bengcag chairperson Jesus Arimbuyotan on Thursday, November 29.

“I have substituted Arimbuyotan for governor as [Michael Marcos] Keon filed for Laoag City mayor against my niece-in-law, Chevylle [Fariñas],” said Fariñas in a Viber message.

Arimbuyotan was a last minute candidate, running for governor only on the last day of filing on October 17.

Fariñas is running under the banner of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

Keon’s mother, Elizabeth Marcos-Keon, is the sister of the late ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Chevylle is seeking to be reelected as local chief executive in Laoag, a stronghold of the Fariñas clan. 

Fariñas, former majority leader at the House of Representatives, will be running against Ilocos Norte 2nd District Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, the grandson of Marcos.

Fariñas’ daughter, Ilocos Norte 1st District Senior Board Member Ria Fariñas, is seeking to replace him in Congress in the 2019 polls. 

Manotoc originally filed his candidacy for governor, but he substituted his grandmother and graft convict, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos on Thursday.

Manotoc is the son of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, who is aspiring to become senator in 2019.

Since 1998, the Fariñas and Marcos families have been either allies or rivals in Ilocos Norte after the Marcoses returned to the province when the family patriarch died in exile in 1989. 

In 2015, the Marcoses cut ties with Fariñas and dropped him from their “One Ilocos Norte” ticket. 

The Fariñas-Marcos relations soured even more when Fariñas, as then-House majority leader, led a congressional probe into the alleged misuse of P66.45 million worth of Ilocos Norte provincial funds to purchase motor vehicles.

Both the House committee on good government and public accountability and the Commission on Audit recommended the filing of administrative and criminal charges against officials of the Ilocos Norte provincial government.

Rappler sources later said Imee Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio had been key figures in the ouster of ex-speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in July, in effect leading to Fariñas’ removal as majority leader. (READ: The women behind the fall of Alvarez

Marcos denied having a hand in the Alvarez ouster, but she and Carpio were present when new Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo held a “thank you lunch” days after she became the new leader of the House. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.