LAOAG CITY - The Marcos family now holds the four top spots in Ilocos Norte: the province's governor, vice governor, and two district representatives inaugurated on Monday at Laoag City are all related to President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Marcos Jr.'s eldest son, Sandro Marcos, was sworn in at the Laoag City Centennial Arena along with other Ilocos Norte officials. He defeated outgoing 1st District Rep. Ria Christina Fariñas in the 2022 elections.
His cousin, reelected Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc also took his oath of service; he defeated Rodolfo "Rudy" Fariñas, Ria's father, who attempted a return to office in this year's elections.
Before being unseated by the Marcoses in this year's elections, the Fariñases held power in the towns of Adams, Bacarra, Bangui, Burgos, Carasi, Dumalneg, Pagudpud, Pasuquin, Piddig, Sarrat, Vintar, and Laoag City since 2010.
"Noong dumating na ang resulta, [my] nervousness became pride and joy, not only because I was able to garner [108,423] votes, but because I became the first Marcos to run in the 1st district of Ilocos Norte and emerged victorious," Sandro said during his speech.
Sandro will be joined in the House of Representatives by Angelo Marcos Barba, son of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.'s youngest sibling. This is Barba's second term as 2nd district representative; he was also previously the vice governor of Ilocos Norte from 2016-2019.
As the Marcoses now dominate Ilocos Norte, Barba echoed his cousin's message of unity, saying it is the bedrock of all progress.
"No nation can truly develop without a united people. This year's elections reminded us of that: that we can only go so far as a nation when we all come together and do what needs to be done - and in our case, [it is] a united Ilocos Norte," Barba said.
Another re-electionist, Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos is also returning for her second term. Araneta-Marcos hails from Mindanao, called herself "an Ilocano by choice."
"It is you, my kailians (fellow Ilocanos), who I choose to serve and to love," Araneta-Marcos said.
Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon was also reelected by a hairline of 160 votes over second-placer Chevylle Fariñas.
He was sworn in along with the other mayors, but was noticeably placed at the second row of mayors, despite being the only Marcos among the lot, and mayor of the province's capital and venue of the inauguration.
Keon ran independently in the 2022 elections; the Marcoses backed his opponent and third-placer Toto Lazo.
Senator Imee Marcos swore in her son, Manotoc, who in turn administered the oath taking of the elected mayors, vice mayors, and city and municipal councilors from Ilocos Norte's 21 towns and 2 cities.
Marcos Jr. was not present to witness his son's oath taking. Sandro said in his speech that his family is busy with preparations for the President-elect's own inauguration on June 30.