Ilocos Norte gov. bet Fariñas accuses Marcoses of harassment in local campaign

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 06 2022 04:19 PM | Updated as of May 06 2022 05:37 PM

Campaign materials of Ilocos Norte gubernatorial candidates Rudy Fariñas and Matthew Marcos Manotoc by the highway passing Batac, Ilocos Norte, May 06, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.
Campaign materials of Ilocos Norte gubernatorial candidates Rudy Fariñas and Matthew Marcos Manotoc by the highway passing Batac, Ilocos Norte, May 06, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.

LAOAG - Ilocos Norte gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo "Rudy" Fariñas on Friday said that he and his supporters were facing harassment from provincial police, and claimed it was a move likely sanctioned by the Marcoses. 

"This has been happening a few months back, starting bandang January," he said in a virtual press conference. "Every time we have meetings, may mga police checkpoints established around our meeting areas. And then yung mga participants namin to our meetings pagka-alis nila or going to our meeting sites, sinisita sila." 

Fariñas said that checkpoints were set up at other campaign meetings as well, leading him to call the attention of his election rival, incumbent governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc. 

"'I'll do something about it,' sabi niya," Fariñas said. "And then it escalated." 

The gubernatorial bet claimed that another checkpoint was set up next to his campaign headquarters, which was adjacent to his house.

"It became very regular. Talagang naging standard na. Pagka nagme-meeting kami, nandiyan nanaman yung mga checkpoint." 

Fariñas also claimed that police served search warrants issued by a court in Bauang, La Union to four of his supporters. Six others were also supposedly given rifle grenades and bloody t-shirts as veiled death threats. 

"These were all reported to the police, but 'yung chief of police just brushed it off, making it trivial," the gubernatorial bet said. 

When asked who he thought the culprit was, Fariñas said it could either be presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. or Senator Imee Marcos, the mother of incumbent governor Manotoc. 

"I have received reports that she has met several times with the provincial director and retired general Lazo. Nagme-meet sila," Fariñas said. 

"Kalaban ko yung anak niya eh," he added. 

ABS-CBN News has reached out to both the camps of Senator Imee Marcos and incumbent Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, but has yet to receive their statements on the matter as of press time. 

Fariñas said he and his camp are planning to file a complaint against local police over the alleged harassment. 

Aside from incumbent governor Matthew Marcos-Manotoc, his cousin Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos III is making his own bid to unseat Ria Fariñas as Ilocos Norte 1st district representative. Ria Fariñas is the daughter of Rudy Fariñas.

Other Marcoses are also making their own election bids in the province, such as re-electionists Vice Governor Cecila Araneta Marcos and Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon. 

Meanwhile, Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba will have to fend off two other candidates to retain his post as 2nd district representative. 

The Fariñas and Marcos families used to be allies but fell into conflict after then Congressman Rudy Fariñas launched an investigation into the use of Tobacco Excise Taxes during Senator Imee Marcos' time as Ilocos Norte Governor from 2010 to 2019.