Imee’s son now running unopposed

Fariñas backs out of Ilocos Norte gubernatorial race.

ILOCOS Norte Rep. Rudy Fariñas yesterday backed out from the gubernatorial race 11 days before the elections.

Fariñas went to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to formally withdraw his bid for provincial governor. He said he wants to retire from politics.

His political rival, 30-year-old Board member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, son of outgoing Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, is now running unopposed.

In a Viber message sent to House reporters, Fariñas said he did not really want to run for any office.

“I want to retire on June 30 after 39 years since I started as Laoag City mayor on March 13, 1980 at the age of 28,” he said.

According to Manong Rudy, as he is fondly called, from day one of campaigning, he is already announcing to his constituents that he is no longer running for governor.

“In fact, I do not have a single campaign poster nor my name is in our sample ballot. I’ve never even gone to other district of our province,” he said.

The former House Majority leader said he wants to focus on supporting his three children who are seeking different positions.

Fariñas’ daughter Ria, who is currently the senior Board member in the first district, is running for congresswoman. His son Rudy Caesar nicknamed “Baby Boy” is the first nominee of the Probinsyano Ako Party-list while his other son Rodolfo Christian III or “Junior” is seeking to replace Ria as provincial Board member.

Fariñas wished the younger Marcos good luck on his political career.

“I hope that given his youth (30 years) and vigor, and that he has barely served the public in three years, he will serve the province excellently like I did,” Fariñas said.

Farinas became a last-minute substitute candidate for governor after a peace deal with the Marcos clan fell through in 2018.

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 former president Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

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

The Fariñas-Marcos relations turned more sour when Fariñas, then the 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 the officials of the Ilocos Norte provincial government.