A three-cornered rivalry for the Laoag City mayoralty post is in the offing in the May 2022 polls if no one withdraws from the race.
First-term Mayor Michael Marcos Keon is seeking reelection but this time, his former ally and running mate, vice mayor Vicentito Lazo wants him dethroned while former mayor Chevylle Fariñas is poised to make a comeback.
Keon, son of former governor Elizabeth Marcos, sister of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., is running as an independent candidate this time as he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) before they could “talk” like family.
“Considering that our family backed his mayoral candidacy in 2019, it’s disappointing that MMK (Michael Marcos Keon) decided to go on his own and not even inform any of us of his individual plans,” Governor Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc said in a statement on Saturday.
According to his nephew (Manotoc), MMK filed his COC on his own which “shocked” the Marcos family.
Manotoc said presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was scheduled to arrive here on Wednesday morning and was set to meet the family in the afternoon to discuss things.
“Suddenly and unknown to our family, MMK filed (his COC) for mayor on Wednesday morning before we could even talk,” he said.
On Thursday, Lazo filed his COC for mayor, formalizing his bid as the standard-bearer of Team Marcos in Laoag City.
In running under the Nacionalista Party, Lazo said he is both “honored and humbled” with the trust and confidence given to him by the Marcos family.
He said his vast experience in government has prepared him to lead the city in recovering from the pandemic and in ushering Laoageños into a new era of progress.
Meanwhile, Fariñas is determined to win back its people and the city his family has held onto power for decades until the demise of her husband, then city vice mayor Michael Fariñas who died in a car crash in 2018.