Although public service is in his blood, Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos credits his enthusiasm to his parents, particularly his father, presidential hopeful Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM).
Sandro, who was born and reared in Laoag City, is competing for a congressional seat in the Ilocos Norte’s 1st District. He is running for the first time for a political office, but he is no stranger to politics or public service. He had been exposed to it since he was a child, when his father was the governor of Ilocos Norte.
Prior to entering politics, Sandro worked on the legislative staff of House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez, who served as his mentor on the House of Representatives’ daily grind, including strategies to hasten the passage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority measures.
Under Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, Sandro also worked as an economic consultant for the Province of Ilocos Norte.
Among his responsibilities was ensuring the timely and smooth distribution of food and other aid to the people of Ilocos Norte, such as the Covid recovery assistance program for sari-sari store owners, food packs and fishing gear to fishermen, tablets to aid students in distance learning, and many others.
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, he has been instrumental in offering livelihood options to thousands of Ilokano who have been most affected by the unexpected loss of income and livelihood.
The SANDbox, which was launched in Pagudpud last February, is another of Sandro’s efforts. This seeks to assist learners who require Internet and e-learning technology, promote youth innovation, and provide a workspace for local entrepreneurs.
SANDbox is a converted container van with interior study and working workstations, an outside and top deck lounging area, as well as kitchen and restroom amenities.
It provides free WiFi access and uses fiber optic technology to provide the fastest Internet speed currently accessible.
“The pandemic has ultimately pushed us to create an alternative work setup that prioritizes the safety of all but does not compromise productivity. With the increasing demand for co-working spaces, not only here in Ilocos Norte but also around the world, we’ve come up with this project to assist students and start-ups by providing them with a steady and safe learning and work space,” said the eldest son of BBM and lawyer Liza Araneta-Marcos..
SANDbox, according to Sandro, is the first of several initiatives he has planned for the province, as he envisions a better, more resilient Ilocos Norte, filled with promise and economic development.
If elected to Congress, Sandro’s top priority will be to complete unfinished projects, particularly in his area, and to campaign for the regularization of barangay officials who are only paid honoraria despite their vital service in their communities, particularly during the epidemic.
He also hopes to assist the province in transitioning from primary to secondary and tertiary agriculture, so that they may develop value-added products instead of just planting and harvesting crops.
He went on to say that upgrading agricultural systems would mean bringing in the necessary equipment to help produce more crops in less time or with less labor than is currently required.
They will have the labor for secondary and tertiary agriculture, and farmers and agricultural communities will be able to venture into creating value-added products with a more efficient farming system.
Creating welcoming communities
Sandro, who graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a master’s degree in Development Studies, said he will consult his kakailians (neighbors) to gain a thorough grasp of their requirements.
Recognizing that no one has a monopoly on knowledge or excellent ideas, he also stated that he is open to work with the opposition if they are competent and willing to collaborate with him.
Sandro emphasized that he is running for Congress to serve the Ilocano people, promising to listen to them and ensure that issues and problems are handled in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.
Who is Ferdinand Alexander Araneta Marcos father, Bongbong Marcos?
Bongbong Marcos (BBM) is a former senator from the Philippines who served from 2010 to 2016. He is the only son of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., the former president, tyrant, and kleptocrat, and Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the former first lady.
In 1980, Marcos Jr., then 23 years old, was elected vice governor of Ilocos Norte, running unopposed for his father’s Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party, which was then controlling the Philippines under martial law.
In 1983, he was elected governor of Ilocos Norte, a position he held until his family was deposed by the People Power Revolution and forced to flee to Hawaii in February 1986.
Following his father’s death in 1989, President Corazon Aquino eventually allowed the Marcos family’s remaining members to return to the Philippines to face various charges.
 He and his mother are being detained in the United States and its territories for refusing to pay US$353 million in restitution to victims of his father’s dictatorship’s human rights abuses.
From 1992 until 1995, Marcos served as the representative of Ilocos Norte’s 2nd congressional district. In 1998, Marcos ran for and was re-elected governor of Ilocos Norte. He returned to his previous position as a legislator after nine years, from 2007 to 2010, and subsequently became a senator for the Nacionalista Party from 2010 to 2016.  Marcos stood for Vice President in the 2016 presidential election in 2015. Marcos was defeated by Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur, who received 263,473 votes and 0.64 percent of the vote.
Marcos responded by filing a petition with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. After a pilot recount of the designated provinces of Negros Oriental, Iloilo, and Camarines Sur, Robredo’s advantage was increased by 15,093 votes, and his appeal was overwhelmingly dismissed.
Marcos stated in 2021 that he would run for President of the Philippines in the 2022 election as part of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).
His effort has been criticized by fact-checkers and disinformation researchers, who believe it is motivated by historical negationism in order to rebrand Marcos and slander his opponents.
His campaign has also been accused of whitewashing human rights violations and plunder committed by his father while in office.
The Marcoses’ historical distortionism has been going on since the 2000s, according to The Washington Post, including his convictions for tax fraud, including his failure to pay his family’s estate taxes and misrepresenting his schooling at Oxford, according to The New York Times.