Sunday, December 6, 2009

Imelda, Imee not withdrawing from congressional, gubernatorial races

By Teddy Molina
The Philippine Star
Updated December 07, 2009 12:00 AM

Original Story:

LAOAG CITY, Philippines – Former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos vowed yesterday that she and her daughter Imee will not withdraw from the Ilocos Norte congressional and gubernatorial races respectively despite a tiff with a relative who is running against Imee.

“We will not withdraw,” Mrs. Marcos told newsmen after a meeting between feuding reelectionist Governor Michael Marcos Keon and former congresswoman Imee.

Imee is running against her cousin Keon for the gubernatorial post in Ilocos Norte.

Imee was accompanied by her brother Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the closed-door meeting with Keon.

Sources present at the meeting but who requested anonymity told The STAR that common political allies tried to persuade Imee and Keon to agree on one candidate only. But neither one was willing to give way, they said.

The Marcos family led by Imelda had solidly supported Keon in his bid for governor in 2007, which he won against former governor and first district congressman Rodolfo Fariñas. The feud, which reportedly erupted only recently, was triggered by Keon’s declaration in the media that Ilocanos will back his cousin Bongbong for senator but not Sen. Manny Villar for president.

The Marcoses, who are aligned with Villar, were reportedly angered by Keon’s declaration, which led to Imee running as the Nacionalista Party bet against Keon, who is supporting Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro.

“Bongbong, Imee and Mrs. Marcos felt humiliated by what Keon said to the media. They felt ashamed to Sen. Villar whom they promised to solidly support. The Marcoses promised Villar that they would get the votes of Ilocos because it is their bailiwick,” the sources added.

Mrs. Marcos, on the other hand, is pitted against former Vice Governor and Rep. Mariano Nalupta Jr. in the second district congressional race.

In another twist, Fariñas filed his certificate of candidacy for first district congressman on the last day of filing.

He told newsmen that Bongbong and Imee convinced him to join the 2010 political fray.

“After the last elections, I had decided to hang my political gloves. But how can I refuse the Marcoses?” he said.

It is publicly known here that Bongbong and Fariñas used to be at loggerheads

In another move, the Marcoses also did not field a candidate against Fariñas’s younger brother Michael who is running for reelection as Laoag city mayor.

The twin moves are seen as “reconciliation and political healing” efforts but observers say it is an attempt by the Marcos family to mend political fences with the Fariñases and solidify the province’s support behind Bongbong and Villar.

Original Story:

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