LAOAG CITY, July 26– Can Gov. Imee Marcos attain her political goal of One Ilocos Norte in this so called Marcos Country come 2016 presidential and local elections?

This question cropped up on the heels of her press statement a few days ago hyping that she wanted to ensure that a One Ilocos Norte scenario will dominate the political landscape in this home province of her late father, President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

“Kahit ano man ang mangyari sa national, dito sa lokal One Ilocos Norte sana, yan ang idinadasal ko,” she told the Laoag-based Capitol press corps. Pollsters had hinted that Governor Imee’s brother Senator Bongbong Marcos is being groomed to run for president in the 2016 race.

She said the consultation process is ongoing for the possible lineup of prospective candidates under the One Ilocos Norte bandwagon amid limited period as barely three months remaining before the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) in mid-October, a deadline set by Commission on Elections.

She revealed that she had been meeting with local leaders one group per town during the past several weeks in an effort to pave the way for a unified party called One Ilocos Norte.

Earlier, local media men had observed that numerous incumbent mayors, vice mayors, councilors and ward leaders were visibly seen in group trooping to the provincial capitol for a secret caucus with the governor.

She recalled that in 1998 and 2010 polls, she and her allied top leaders of the province were intact under the One Ilocos Norte wing saying “Sama-sama kami noon.”

“Pero ngayon, nagkawatak-watak na. Yun iba hindi na naka-alaala, walang utang ng loob, yun iba nakalimutan kana. Pero para sa akin, palaging bukas ang pinto ko. Pinaninindigan ko, gusto ko One Ilocos Norte,” Imee stressed.

She expressed hope that with more time, openness and transparency, her camp will get the best candidates under One Ilocos Norte noting the qualification is not only winnability but importantly, capacity, competence and commitment to serve.

“We are already here, we have started reform and had developed the province like Paspas Dur-as. As we are aggressive and forward thinking, ayaw natin ang mga kandidato na kulelat ang kaisipan,” she added.

In choosing the best candidates, she preferred the youthful or “bagets” type ones lamenting that it’s difficult to recruit them because those best qualified ones decline to run and instead, they would rather opt to work overseas (to seek for greener pasture).

“Siyempre, matindi ang issue ng (political) dynasty dito sa Ilocos Norte. Maraming ang tingin nila sa pwesto ay… inherited portion of wealth. Hindi pwede yun. For me even I belong to a family of politicians, when it comes to election you have to earn your votes. You have to prove yourself. Don’t always depend on the fact that you have a namesake politician, thus, powerful. But no, you have to work for it…For those third termer, kung minsan tinatamadna,” Imee emphasized.(JRG)