WHAT WAS TOUTED as a tight battle between cousins turned out to be a ho-hum at the box office, er, the polling precincts. Imee Marcos won the Ilocos Norte gubernatorial race in a heartbeat, and with a thrashing margin.
Supporters of Michael Keon make a simplistic analysis, saying that money did it. At least three hundred million pesos, they claim, was spent in the campaign, especially in special operations (read: vote buying).
I have always believed Imee would win, and even sans vote buying, this I privately told my friends and colleagues weeks before the May 10 polls. The Marcos brand name remains deeply rooted in the Ilocano psyche, and it will take some more generations for the magic to fade, if it ever will.
And Imee is not a bad politician either. Residents of the second district will attest to her work ethic. She is results-oriented and determined. Her heart lies in the proper places.
At the Mariano Marcos State University alone, then Congresswoman Imee funded the construction of nine buildings. Today, the university, which her visionary father built in 1978, is considered as a model state university in the whole country, and is starting to make a mark in the international scene.
The Marcoses, conscious of their important role in history, are not the type who would initiate projects which are fleeting. Apo Ferdinand’s rural electrification, agriculture modernization, and cultural revolution, among others, continue to benefit the Filipino masa. That is why The Apo’s elder daughter won handily although only a handful of mayors supported her bid. I am convinced, dear karikna, that Imee will make an even better governor than his brother, Senator-elect Bongbong, who, as early as now, is being touted by overzealous fans as future president.
All members of my family, save my dad, voted for Imee. Weakened by illness, dad is glued to the television most of the time, and he may have been hypnotized by the frequent airing over cable television the press conference where Governor Keon delivered his moving “I-am-fighting-for-my-dignity” speech.
Just a caveat: my hallelujahs to Imee should not be taken in any way as a repudiation of Michael Keon. We look forward to seeing him take an active role again in government or in the private sector. My sources say family kinks are being ironed out, and so, he might not, after all, as originally planned, desert Ilocandia.
The guy is decent and honorable. He may have miscalculated his political value but he is neither arrogant nor proud.
SPEAKING of arrogance, much is expected of First District Congressman-elect Rudy Fariñas who packages himself as a renewed man. They say that anyone who has seen death in the eye is bound to appreciate life more. The same goes with politics. “You changed my life” is Rudy’s song for Imee who resurrected the former’s dead political career.
During the campaign, Rudy admitted to having been proud, arrogant, and rough in past years as the workings of power and fame got to his head. The series of setbacks in his personal and professional, the 1978 bar eighth placer said, led him to reexamine his life.
Let’s wish him well.
WITH RUDY as congressman and Imee as governor, Laoag Mayor Michael Fariñas, who is on his last term, has more room to push his leadership agenda. I am giving MVF doubt’s benefit. I feel that we have not seen the best of him, and I trust that the city will be steered to greater progress in the next three years.
However, inside sources at the city hall say that revenues have been greatly reduced as the effects of the Robinson’s Ilocos Norte Mall located in San Nicolas are now being felt. Aggressive strategies will have to be employed to arrest this decline in the city’s income. The clamor to finally build a new commercial complex in downtown Laoag might finally materialize, and I am inclined to reconsider my initial resistance.
MY WORLD stops each time I see The Madame, former First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. Now an octogenarian, she looks as graceful and godly as ever. She is the closest thing to a queen. Every time we cross paths, I am, for want of a better term, starstruck, for no Filipino has ever captured the world’s imagination more than Madame has, no matter if critics consider her life as debatable as her riches are.
I am convinced that, driven by the Second District Representative-elect’s mantra of pursuing only “the true, the good, and the beautiful,” wonderful things are on their way, and these we gladly await.
God save the queen.
I’d stop here on fear of being suspected as a paid publicist of some SOB. It is enough to say that my optimism over our new set of leaders will always be coupled with constant vigilance and uncompromised punditry. Here’s hoping I do not get disillusioned as fast as I almost always do.
In the meantime, dear karikna, let’s enjoy the honeymoon. Yahoo!