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Fariñas: I want to retire on June 30

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Former House Majority Floor Leader and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas admitted that he was not serious in running for governor in his home province prior to his withdrawal on Thursday.

In a Viber message sent to House reporters, Fariñas stressed that he really wanted to retire from politics and has no plans to seek any elective post in the May 13 polls.

“I did not really want to run for any office as I want to retire on Jun 30 – after 39 years since I started as Laoag City Mayor on March 3, 1980, at the age of 27,” said Fariñas.

The former House Majority Leader disclosed that he has been telling his supporters during his speeches that he was not seeking the top seat in the provincial capitol, adding that he doesn’t have a signal campaign poster and his name was not included in the sample ballot being distributed by the ruling administration party, Paritido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) in the province.

“From day one of the campaign until today, having covered 272 of my district’s 285 barangays, I’ve been announcing in my speeches that I was not 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 the other district of our province,” he said.

Fariñas said he can’t wait for his upcoming retirement after his term expires on June 30.

“58 days na lang, Freedom!” Fariñas said in jest.

Last November, the Ilocos Norte solon explained that the reason why he decided to file his candidacy for governor of Ilocos Norte on the last day of substitution for candidates is the fact that the Marcoses have violated their gentleman’s pact for the May 13 midterm polls.

Fariñas stressed that he and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have agreed of “having peace” between their families with the former’s daughter, incumbent Provincial Board Member Ria Fariñas and the latter’s mother, convicted former First Lady and incumbent second district Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos both running unopposed.

The younger Fariñas is running to replace his father as first district legislator while Mrs. Marcos was supposed to run as governor of Ilocos Norte.

But the Marcos camp decided to field another candidate in Fariñas’ bailiwick in the person of Ryan Remigio, the same guy the former House official defeated in the 2016 polls.

At the same time, Marcos’ distant cousin, former Ilocos Norte Gov. Michael Marcos Keon made a last minute filing of his certificate of candidacy (COC) as Mayor of Laoag City after able to secure a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) from the Nacionalista Party.

Fariñas insisted that such antics from the Marcos camp were also violation of their peace agreement since the capital city of Ilocos Norte is currently under the leadership of his niece-in-law, incumbent two-term Mayor Chevylle Fariñas.

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