Four Fariñas scions “collide” for top posts

LAOAG CITY, Dec. 21— For the first time in the political history of Laoag, four members of the well-known influential  Farinas clan will “collide” against each other in the most-coveted mayoralty and vice mayoralty race here this coming May 2013 elections.

ABC president Chevylle Farinas, wife of graduating three-term Mayor Michael V. Farinas, was the first to file her Certificate of Candidacy (C0C) at the city Comelec office here. She vows to continue the unfinished job of her husband.

After several days, former Mayor Roger Farinas also filed his CoC fulfilling his long hyped bid as his slogan says “I Shall Return 2013” aims  to regain mayorship in Laoag, where he served for nine consecutive years.

On the  other hand, youthful businessman Carlos Farinas, son of Congressman Rudy Farinas, threw his hat in politics. He filed his CoC for vice mayor of Laoag when his cousin’s  MVF camp allegedly  turned down a deal to pick him as Chevylle’s running mate. Surprisingly,  Rhea Farinas, daughter of Rep. Rudy, also filed her CoC for provincial board member of Ilocos Norte.

When the morning of  Dec. 21 deadline for substitution came, Mayor Farinas shocked the whole Laoag electorates. After  attending a mass officiated by Fr. Ian Rabago held at the city hall, he went to the Comele office and filed his CoC for vice mayor. His supporters repeatedly chanted “Walang iwanan”.

In sliding down to vice mayorship, Mayor Michael claimed that a popular survey result drove him to run in tandem of his wife Chevylle. He was emotional  when he spoke to the media about his candidacy.

Also joining the mayoral race are former Gov. Michael Keon and former Mayor Cesar Ventura. Former provincial board member Kristian Ablan, son of former Rep. Roque Ablan Jr., likewise joined the vice mayoral derby.

As a result of this political feud in the Farinas clan, Ex-Mayor Roger, older brother of Rep. Rudy, spoke  in the local TV, blaming Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos for allegedly “meddling” in the political affair in Laoag.

Roger was probably referring to Gov. Imee’s public endorsement of Chevylle’s candidacy which she claimed was her long time promise to support her this coming 2013 poll.

Gov. Imee quickly reacted to Roger’s statement and said it is her obligation to safeguard the political affair of Laoag, being a big LGU (as component city of Laoag) under Ilocos Norte, thus, she raised the hand of Chevylle, being All-One-Ilocos Norte partymate.

In assailing the candidacy of his cousin Mayor Michael, Carlos also spoke in the local TV saying  that in case spouses Chevylle and Michael win, the city government “will no longer have a check and balance” under a wife-and-husband team administration

In nearby San Nicolas town, a wife-and-husband tandem also amazed the townsfolk. Dr. Melanie Grace Valdez filed her CoC to run for mayor while her husband, graduating three-term Mayor Dr. Alfredo Valdez Jr. filed his CoC to run for vice mayor

The couples’ contenders are Michael Angel Hernando and former vice mayor Norberto “Ruben” Dadiz Sr., respectively.

In Batac City, Cecilia Marcos, wife of provincial board member Mariano “Nonong” Marcos, withdrew her candidacy for vice mayor, hence, re-electionist Vice Mayor Ronald Allan Nalupta will be unopposed.

However, Michael Marcos Manotoc, son of Gov. Imee, failed to withdraw his candidacy for  mayor on Dec. 21 deadline for the withdrawal and substitution as earlier planned.  He was reportedly vacationing in Singapore.

Re-electionist Mayor Jeffrey Nalupta, earlier said that he has bounced to healthier physical condition now after undergoing a medical treatment and much ready for the rigorous campaign period

In Sarrat, incumbent Vice Mayor Remigio “Rhemy” Medrano will challenge re-electionist Mayor Edito Balintona for the mayoralty post.(jrg)