April 29, 2007
THE ILOCOS TIMES - NEWS

Imee’s sis-in-law says solon quit politics because of love

Love does conquer all, including Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos who is said to have quit politics because of her longtime Singaporean partner.

According to lawyer Liza Araneta-Marcos, the wife of Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., her sister-in-law has given up on her political career to please her Singaporean boyfriend Mark Chua.

Imee has been widely expected to switch post with brother Bongbong. The siblings are on their third and final terms.

The Marcoses, however, have fielded board member Michael Keon, son of the late Ilocos Norte Governor Elizabeth Marcos-Keon for the gubernatorial post. Keon will slug it out with former Governor Rodolfo Fariñas for the top provincial post.

Bongbong is running unopposed as congressman for the second district while Imee wants to focus apparently on her private life with her partner who is a businessman.

“Do you really want the truth, she’s (Imee) going to kill me for saying this. She made a promise that when her boyfriend reached 60, she would stop already, quit politics and live happily ever after,” the governor’s wife said.

“He’s 63 now. If you think about it, Imee doesn’t need the money to be in politics, my husband doesn’t need the money. It’s more of the legacy, of doing good for the people,” she added.

“But Imee is in love, she has a partner and she promised (to quit) that’s really the reason. Sometimes the real answers are the simpler ones. It’s really like that,” Araneta-Marcos said.

The governor’s wife, however, said the Marcoses are fully behind Keon and will command everything at their disposal to ensure that the former sports czar during the Gintong Alay era clinches the gubernatorial post.

She said Imee and former First Lady Imelda Marcos will arrive in Ilocos Norte in the coming days to join the campaign sorties of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan ticket and court votes for Keon.

Araneta-Marcos admitted that she and her husband are moving house-to-house for the first time in nine years to court votes for Keon.

“Bong is going house-to-house because he wants to make sure that all his efforts were not in vain. This is the first time I made (a house-to-house campaign) not even with my husband (because he’s unopposed).”

It was the first media conference that the governor’s wife called in the last nine years that her husband served the provincial capitol. She faced reporter along with Laoag mayoralty candidate and former military General Roland Albano. The former military officer will face re-electionist Mayor Michael Fariñas.

At one point, the governor’s wife became emotional while addressing the crowd of reporters and supporters.

“This is the first and last presscon I will give ever. (The reason for this presscon) I really wanted to thank the Ilocanos. The last nine years were really the best years of my life,” she said.

“My kids grew up here and they will be going back here one day. Ilocanos are really great. I will really miss this place when we go back to Manila, hopefully we will be back,” she added.

Cristina Arzadon

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