By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Former House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas on Thursday made a last-minute filing of his certificate of candidacy (COC) for governor of Ilocos Norte.
Fariñas filed his COC at the local COMELEC office in Laoag City on the last day of filing for substitution of candidates for the upcoming 2019 midterm polls.
The former Majority Floor Leader replaced Jesus Arimboyutan using the same scheme then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte used in filing his COC for president in 2015.
Fariñas, who first served as Ilocos Norte governor from 1988 to 1998, will run under the ruling administration party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban).
In his viber message to House reporters, Fariñas said he filed his candidacy few hours before convicted former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos withdrew his gubernatorial bid next year.
“She withdrew right after I filed my COC as Governor,” he said.
Fariñas will face Imelda’s grandson incumbent Provincial Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc in next year’s gubernatorial race in province.
Manotoc, son of incumbent Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, replaced her grandmother who is facing a perpetual disqualification from public office after her graft conviction at the Sandiganbayan last November 9.