Gov-elect Manotoc leads new set of Ilocos Norte officials

May 14, 2019 ...

Incumbent Senior Board Member (SBM) Matthew Marcos Manotoc has been proclaimed Governor of the Province of Ilocos Norte today, May 14, 2019 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall. The proclamation was facilitated by the Commission on Election (COMELEC) through the provincial board of canvassers.

The youngest son of the outgoing Governor Imee R. Marcos, Governor-elect Manotoc, was left unopposed after his rival, Ilocos Norte First District Representative Rudy Fariñas, withdrew from his candidacy on May 2. He obtained 260,938 votes.

In an interview with the media after the proclamation ceremony, Manotoc laid out some of the priorities of his incoming administration. "I think the most pressing na nakikita ko ay healthcare centers. Many of our hospitals and medical services aren't where they should be. That's one of my priorities coming into my term, especially our public hospitals – equipping them and finding ways that they are self-sufficient, so they don't need to lean to the Provincial Government much," he said.

"There are also other issues like rural electrification and irrigation which we would like to pinpoint, and the continuation of the basic services of the province. I think I am fortunate that Ilocos Norte more or less is a good place. It's on me to continue the wave of development and hopefully further improve where my mother has left of," he added.

Team Marcos posts big victory

Dominating the midterm elections for provincial officials, Team Marcos won key posts in the province. Joining Governor-elect Manotoc is Vice Governor-elect Cecilia Araneta-Marcos who also saw a landslide win and incumbent Ilocos Norte Vice Gov. Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba who was elected as representative of the 2ndDistrict of Ilocos Norte with 87,725 votes.

Among the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Medeldorf Gaoat of 2nd District obtained the highest number of votes (76,045 votes), thus earning for him the title of Senior Board Member. Joining him are: 1stDistrict Board Members Franklin Dante Respicio (73,943 votes), Saul Lazo (68,758 votes), Portia Salenda (66,709 votes), and Donald Nicolas (64,768 votes), and 2nd District Board Members Domingo Ambrocio, Jr. (73,558 votes), Da Vinci Crisostomo (71,701 votes), and James Paul Nalupta (65,306 votes). 

Completing the set of provincial officials are winning candidates from the other political parties: Ria Fariñas (106,780 votes) who was elected as representative of the 1st District, Rodolfo Chris Fariñas (75,737 votes), 1stDistrict Board Member, and Aladine Santos (65,070 votes), 2nd District Board Member. 

The newly-elected national and local government officials will officially take office after their formal inauguration on the 30th of June.

Manotoc vows to be "more collaborative" leader

When Manotoc was asked about the difference between his leadership compared to Governor Marcos, he answered: "I think my youth is the biggest factor. Nowadays, leadership is a little more collaborative. Sigurothat's one difference. I'll be a little more collaborative with my staff, try to listen to everyone, and work with people."

In the same breath, Manotoc expressed appreciation for his mother whom he described as a "very strong leader." This kind of "strength," the governor-elect said, can be useful in governance.

Manotoc also shared his experience during his campaign, saying: "Sa pag-iikot ko, you see the problems, you see the quality of life. The criticism is that I'm not Ilocano, that I've not grown up here and I don't speak the language, and both of those are true. But that doesn't prevent me from being able to serve and from being able to govern well. My blood is Ilocano, my heritage is Ilocano and, most of all, my heart is Ilocano."

Furthermore, he extended his gratitude to the Solid North and to Ilocanos around the globe who unfailingly support the Marcos clan, starting from his grandfather, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, down to his generation.

by Blessing Angel Agliam



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