LAGUINDINGAN, MISAMIS ORIENTAL – Ilocos Norte Governor Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos reiterated her interest to run in senatorial race next year although she has not confirmed it yet, as the country’s ruling political party has recently divulged the initial list of its candidates for the 2019 midterm elections.
Marcos said the prospect of her running as a senatorial candidate has been discussed, but did not give a categorical answer when asked by reporters when she dropped by here to meet with local officials Friday evening.
“Pinag-uusapan pa lang. Tingnan natin (It’s been discussed. We’ll wait and see),” Marcos said, adding that she has been visiting parts of the country, with Misamis Oriental as her latest stop.
The lady governor, however, emphasized that it would be good if there is someone in the Senate who’s knowledgeable in local governance.
“Our needs (in the local government) are very basic. There should be a local viewpoint,” she said, referring to the need for potential lawmakers to have experience in heading a local government unit.
Once she decides to run, it remains to be seen if Marcos will be included in the slate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Among those included in the PDP-Laban senatorial lineup are presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and special assistant to the president Bong Go.
Duterte mentioned Marcos in his previous speeches as one of the two governors who supported him during the 2016 campaign, even mentioning that she has donated in his campaign funds.
Marcos had denied donating to Duterte’s campaign and that she only help him secure votes in the Ilocos region.
During her brief visit to this province, Marcos was welcomed by local officials led by Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente “Bambi” Emano.
Emano said one of the groups that tried to talk Marcos into running for senator is the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), an association composed of all the country’s governors.
“We (LPP) asked her to run so we can a voice in the senate,” Emano said, adding that Marcos could be the local government officials’ chance of having a representation in Congress.
“If you have noticed, most of the senators never had experience in local [governance]. They don’t know the needs of the governors, mayors, barangay chairs,” he said.
Emano said Misamis Oriental will have a lot to learn from Ilocos Norte in the field of agriculture and tourism and he hopes that the provinces will have an exchange of technical knowledge and best practices in several aspects of local governance.