Clarification sought on naming school after Fariñas’ son

LAOAG CITY—A member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or Provincial Board) is seeking clarification why the Laoag Science High School would be named in memory of Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas’ son and namesake who figured in a self-vehicular accident three years ago.

During an out of capitol session held in Carasi town on Monday, Laoag SP Member Vicentito Lazo urged his fellow board members to pass a measure asking the main sponsor of the building project, Senator Franklin Drilon, why the soon to be constructed Laoag City Science High School in Barangay Vira would be named as Rodolfo Fariñas Jr. Memorial Science High School.

Worth PHP110 million, the science high school building located on a three-hectare government lot and to be equipped with “21st century classrooms”, is to be built through funding by Rep. Fariñas.

The school design will follow the Philippine Science High School model.

But Lazo said the people of Laoag needs to be enlightened why said building should be named after Fariñas’ son, citing some guidelines from the National Historical Commission on the naming of public buildings to honor a person.

Under the NHC guidelines, Lazo pointed out that a street plaza or government building could be named after a person only after 10 years of his death except when that person had attained highly exceptional achievements or when the cause of death is due to patriotism or in the service of men. “I don’t mean to offend anybody but I need to know the reasons,” Lazo said.

The younger Fariñas served as president of the Sangguniang Kabataan federation in Ilocos Norte. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and known here for his fondness for off-road vehicles.

During his stint as ex-officio board member, SP records show that he was able to pass a total of 12 resolutions. Of the 12, 10 were vetoed by then President Simeon Benigno Aquino III.

Board Member Ma. Christina Fariñas, who also attended the SP session in Carasi, said that if Lazo had questions on the naming of the building in honor of her late brother, then he could just go to the Senate instead of repeatedly expressing his sentiments at the SP.

“I’m furious. This is now the third time that I hear board member Lazo express his sentiments. Let the dead rest in peace,” Fariñas said as she walked out of the session at 3:20 p.m. even when the session was still ongoing.

Lazo, however, clarified he cannot go to the Senate on his own “that is why I am seeking assistance from the members of the SP so we could pass a measure addressed to Senator Drilon.”