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|Imelda R. Marcos|
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Norte's Second District|
June 30, 2010
|Preceded by||Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.|
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Leyte's First District|
June 30, 1995 – June 30, 1998
|Preceded by||Cirilo Roy G. Montejo|
|Succeeded by||Alfred S. Romuáldez|
|10th First Lady of the Philippines|
December 30, 1965 – February 25, 1986
|Preceded by||Eva Macapagal|
|Succeeded by||Amelita Ramos|
|Mambabatas Pambansa (Assemblyman) from Region IV-A|
June 12, 1978 – June 5, 1984
|Governor of Metropolitan Manila|
1976 – February 25, 1986
|Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary|
|Minister of Human Settlements|
|Born||Imelda Remedios Visitación Trinidad Romuáldez
July 2, 1929
|Political party||Nacionalista (1965-1978; 2009–present)
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (1978–present)
|Spouse(s)||Ferdinand Marcos (1954–1989)|
|Alma mater||St. Paul's College|
Imelda R. Marcos (born Imelda Remedios Visitación Romuáldez on July 2, 1929) is a Filipino politician and widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon the ascension of her husband to political power, she held various positions to the government until 1986. She is the first politician elected as member of the Philippine legislature in three geographical locations (Manila, Leyte, Ilocos Norte). In 2010, she was elected to become a member of the House of Representatives to represent Ilocos Norte's second district. She is sometimes referred to as the Steel Butterfly or the Iron Butterfly. She is often remembered for symbols of the extravagance of her husband's political reign, including her collection of 2,700 pairs of shoes. In 2011, Imelda Marcos has declared her net worth to be 932.8 million pesos (US$22 million), parliamentary records show, as she continues to fight the government over her assets more than two decades after her husband’s reign ended. Imelda is the second-richest Philippine politician behind boxing hero and congressman Manny Pacquiao.
Marcos was born in Manila, Philippines. Her paternal ancestors were wealthy, landed and prominent, and claimed to have founded the town of Tolosa, Leyte. The Lopez were descended from the Spanish friar and silversmith Don Francisco Lopez[disambiguation needed], originally from Granada, in the Andalusian region of Spain. Together with Fray Salustiano Buz, he arrived by way of Acapulco to build Roman Catholic missions in the island provinces of Samar and Leyte (Buz would establish his home base in Palapag, Samar, the exit-entry point of the Manila Galleons in the Visayas islands).
Early life and career 
Her branch of the family was not political. Her father, Vicente Orestes Romuáldez, worked as a law professor at Saint Paul's College and as the administrator of the Romuáldez Law Offices founded by his brother, Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Norberto Lopez Romuáldez. Vicente was a scholarly man more interested in music and culture than public life. A traditionalist, he preferred to teach in Spanish while the rest of the students and faculty spoke English and Tagalog. Imelda had a younger brother, Benjamin Romuáldez (1930-2012). Her mother, Remedios Trinidad y de Guzman or Remedios T. Romualdez, a former boarder at the Asilo de San Vicente de Paul (Looban Convent) in Paco, Manila, was said to have been born out of wedlock, and was the daughter of a friar. Remedios was from the town of Baliuag, Bulacan, and her own mother was from Capiz.
Marcos spent her childhood at the Malacañang Palace in San Miguel District in Manila, since her family then lived near San Miguel Pro-Cathedral. (The Malacañang Gardens across the Palace used to be owned by her grandfather Danielez. He sold the land for the education of his sons Norberto, Vicente Orestes and Miguel at the Ateneo de Manila). After Marcos's mother Remedios died in 1938, and their home was nearly foreclosed, her father, Vicente Orestes, moved his family back to Leyte to live on their abaca and coconut plantation given to him by his deceased mother, Doña Trinidad Romualdez y Lopez. Marcos earned a bachelor's degree in education in Tacloban's St. Paul's College."
She participated in beauty pageants. At age 18, Imelda was crowned the "Rose of Tacloban." and later "Miss Leyte." Previously, during Philippine-American Friendship celebrations, she had earned the title of "Miss Philippines."
She moved to Manila in 1950 after her cousin, and future Speaker of the House Daniel "Danieling" Romuáldez (the son of her uncle, a former (1924-1927) Mayor of Manila, Miguel Romuáldez), saw her potential to attract crowds. She worked in the music stores on the famous street of Escolta. Because of her beautiful singing voice, many customers requested for her to sing. She sang frequently and made many profits for the store. However, her father Vicente Orestes found out. He found it degrading for a Romuáldez to do such a thing, considering the Romuáldez name carried such a cachet (a good name left as an undying legacy by eldest brother Norberto Lopez Romuáldez, a former Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court). He took the next flight from Tacloban to Manila. He stormed Danieling's offices and demanded an explanation. "Gin babaligya mo ba ang akon anak?" (Are you trying to sell my child?!) was his charge against Danieling. Thus, Imelda was later hired at the Philippine Central Bank headed by Danieling's brother, Eduardo Romuáldez, in the brand new offices in Quezon City.
She took voice lessons at the music conservatory of the University of Santo Tomas with the help of Norberto's daughter, Loreto Romuáldez Ramos and her friend, Mrs. Adoracion Reyes. Her photogenic face soon graced many of Manila's magazine covers and she was named the "Muse of Manila" by then Manila Mayor, Arsenio Lacson, a special title given to her after she protested her loss in the Miss Manila pageant.
During her early years in Manila, she lived with her cousin, Danieling and his wife Paz Gueco along Dapitan Street in Quezon City. There she was introduced to the machinations of political life since the house was a de facto headquarters for the Nacionalista party.
In 1953, Imelda met then-Ilocos Norte Congressman Ferdinand E. Marcos. After an eleven day courtship in Baguio during Holy Week, and with much prodding from Danieling (He and Ferdinand Marcos were both sitting congressmen at that time), they were married in May of that year at the San Miguel Pro-Cathedral on General Solano street, San Miguel, Manila.
Between 1960 and 1965 Imelda was constantly featured in many magazine covers. She traveled around the country to get to know each and every politician that could help her husband Ferdinand win the presidency one day. She learned how to sleep while sitting upright with her elaborate coiffure intact; she sang to the audiences; she was baptismal and wedding sponsor to all; she was the eyes and ears of her husband.
In 1966, Ferdinand Marcos became the 10th President of the Philippines. Together with Imelda, he would rule the Philippines from September 21, 1972 up to his removal in February 1986 in the famous People Power Revolution when he fled the Philippines.
|Ancestors of Imelda Marcos|
First Lady of the Philippines (1965–1986) 
In December 1965, when Ferdinand E. Marcos became the 10th Philippine President of the Philippines, Marcos became first lady of the Philippines. She was widely covered by both local and international media, often featuring in magazine articles. In 1969, Ferdinand Marcos became the first Philippine president to be re-elected to a second term.
On September 23, 1972, Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law to preserve his hold on power. It was during the martial law period that he abolished the Philippines' 1935 constitution and established a parliamentary system (Batasang Pambansa or National Assembly) composed mainly of his own political appointees. It was during this period that Marcos assumed a more public and powerful role in the government. She was appointed by her husband to various positions in the government, such as: Governor of Metropolitan Manila, Minister of Human Settlement, and Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary. On December 7, 1972, an assailant, Carlito Dimahilig, tried to stab her to death with a bolo knife during an award ceremony broadcast live on television. Critics claimed the assassination attempt was staged. The assailant was shot to death by security police and the wounds on Marcos' hands and arms required 75 stitches. In 1978, she was elected as member of the 165-member Interim Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly) representing the National Capital Region.
As a Special Envoy, Imelda toured China, the Soviet Union, and the Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe (Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, etc.), the Middle East, Libya, then ruled by strongman Muammar Gaddafi, the non-Soviet dominated communist state of Yugoslavia, and Cuba. To justify the multi-million expenditure of traveling with a large diplomatic entourage using private jets, she would later claim diplomatic successes that included securing of a cheap supply of oil from China and Libya, and in the signing of the Tripoli Agreement.
Imelda's extravagant lifestyle reportedly included five-million-dollar shopping tours in New York, Rome and Copenhagen in 1983, and sending a plane to pick up Australian white sand for a new beach resort. She purchased a number of properties in Manhattan in the 1980s, including the $51-million Crown Building, the Woolworth Building (40 Wall Street) and the $60-million Herald Centre; she declined to purchase the Empire State Building for $750m as she considered it "too ostentatious." Her New York real estate was later seized and sold, along with much of her jewels and most of her 175 piece art collection, which included works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Canaletto. She responded to criticisms of her extravagance by claiming that it was her "duty" to be "some kind of light, a star to give [the poor] guidelines."
She also orchestrated lavish public events using millions of dollars in public funds to extol her husband's regime and bolster her public image. Imelda secured the Miss Universe 1974 pageant for Manila, which necessitated the construction and completion of the 10,000-seat Folk Arts Theater in less than three months. Marcos organized the Kasaysayan ng Lahi, an extravagant festival parade showcasing the history of the Philippines. She initiated social programs such as the Green Revolution, a program that, although it did not address hunger and the core problem of agricultural land reform (most Filipino farmers were tenant farmers and did not own their land), encouraged Filipinos to plant vegetables and fruits in their gardens. Other short-lived social programs included a national family-planning program to reduce the country's population growth.
On the other hand, institutions such as Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, Kidney Institute of the Philippines, Nayong Pilipino; Philippine International Convention Center, Folk Arts Theater, Coconut Palace, and the Manila Film Center, built in 1982 to host her short-lived international film festival are all Marcos' brainchildren.
On 1981, martial law was lifted and, in the same year, Ferdinand Marcos was re-elected as the president of the country.
When Ferdinand Marcos began to suffer from lupus erythematosus in the 1980s, it was said that Imelda Marcos was effectively the acting or de facto president of the Philippines. There was also speculation at that time that if Ferdinand Marcos were to die, Imelda Marcos and her husband's trusted military adviser, General Fabian Ver, then the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, would seize power. After the assassination of opposition leader and one Ferdinand Marcos' most prominent critics, former senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. on the tarmac of then Manila International Airport on 1983, Imelda Marcos and Ver (in addition to from Ferdinand Marcos) would be accused of ordering his assassination. In fact, Imelda Marcos was summoned to the investigation of the Agrava Commission, an independent fact-finding panel formed by her husband to investigate this assassination. Marcos denied the allegations against her.
On the 1986 snap presidential elections, she supported Ferdinand Marcos in his bid to be re-elected for the presidency against Corazon Aquino, a neophyte opposition leader and the widow of Aquino.
In the same year, Ferdinand Marcos would be ousted in a non-violent People Power revolt, which was triggered by the defection of then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and then AFP vice-chief of staff Lt. General Fidel Ramos.
Exile (1986–1991) 
On February 25, 1986, Ferdinand Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii (via Guam) after his regime was toppled by the four-day People Power Revolution at EDSA. Also, the place where her shoes and jewelry were being kept was destroyed, the contents stolen. Even a painting of Imelda was destroyed outside the Malacañan Palace. Marcos was succeeded by Corazon C. Aquino, widow of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., Marcos' foremost political opponent, who was assassinated at the Manila International Airport during his return to the Philippines in 1983 after years of political exile. It was widely assumed that Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were involved in the assassination, which ignited the People Power Revolution of 1986. Upon assuming office, President Aquino issued Executive Order No. 1, creating the Presidential Commission on Good Government to investigate and sequester the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. President Aquino abolished the Batasang Pambansa (Philippine Parliament) and the Ministry of Human Settlements, both creations of Marcos, and established in 1987 a modified version of the Philippines' original 1935 constitution, which had been abolished in 1972 by Marcos. After the Marcos family fled Malacañan Palace, Marcos was found to have left behind 15 mink coats, 508 gowns, 1,000 handbags and 1,060 pairs of shoes. The exact number of shoes varies between accounts; estimates of up to 7500 pairs of shoes have been published, but Time later reported that the final tally was 1,060. In 1992, Marcos claimed that her fortune came from Yamashita's Gold. In February 2006, Marcos insisted that her husband had acquired his wealth legitimately as a gold trader. By the late 1950s, she claimed, he had amassed a personal fortune 7,500 tons of gold, and after gold prices climbed in the 1970s, the Marcos family was worth about $35 billion. However, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has no record of the Marcos family declaring or paying taxes on these assets, and the source of their wealth remains open to investigation.
Ousted President Marcos died in exile on September 28, 1989. President Aquino refused to permit the repatriation of his remains for national-security reasons. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the government in Marcos vs. Manglapus. In 1991, Marcos was allowed to return home.
Marcos was the first wife of a foreign head of state to stand trial in an American court. In 1990, she was acquitted of racketeering and fraud charges, alongside co-defendant Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian former billionaire and arms dealer. The "theatrical" trial involved many celebrities: Marcos and Khashoggi were represented by trial lawyer Gerry Spence; Marcos' $5-million-dollar bail was posted by tobacco heiress, Doris Duke, who befriended her while they both lived in Hawaii; and actor George Hamilton was a star witness for the defense.
Post-exile (1991–present) 
1992 presidential campaign and 1995 congressional bid 
In 1992, Marcos ran and finished fifth in the seven-way presidential race. Her votes were split between her, with 2,338,294 votes, and Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., a close advisor and friend of Ferdinand Marcos, with 4,116,376 votes. Fidel Ramos, the candidate endorsed by Corazon Aquino, received 5.3 million and won the election.
In 1995, she was elected Congresswoman of Leyte, representing the first district of her home province. Marcos overwhelmingly defeated then Rep. Cirilo Montejo by a landslide victory (70,471 votes against Montejo's 36,833 votes). Initially, a disqualification case was filed against her but the Supreme Court ruled in her favor.
1998 presidential campaign 
In 1998, she made another bid for the presidency but later backed out of the race to support the candidacy of then Vice President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Marcos finished 9th among 11 candidates vying for the Philippine government's top post. During the administration of her friend and ally, President Joseph Estrada, many of the cases filed by the Aquino government were dismissed by Ombudsman Aniano Desierto, owing to technicalities (lapse of the prescriptive period for filing cases). On June 29, 1998, the Sandiganbayan (Philippine anti-corruption court) convicted the Former First Lady of the charge that she had entered into an agreement disadvantageous to the government. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the decision and cited Sandiganbayan Justice Francis Gatchitorena for his alleged bias against Mrs. Marcos.
2010 congressional bid 
She ran once again for the House this time for second district of Ilocos Norte in the 2010 elections, to replace her son, incumbent Rep. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who is running for Senator under the Nacionalista Party. She won over her nearest rival Mariano Nalupta, Jr. by 80% to 20%.
2013 congressional bid 
Former First Lady Imelda Marcos filed her certificate of candidacy on Wednesday, Oct 3, 2012, as she sought to renew her term as Ilocos Norte's second district representative. Marcos, who is running under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party, was accompanied by her daughter, Governor Imelda "Imee" Marcos, in the filing of her certificate of candidacy (CoC). Marcos said she wants to continue serving the province despite her age. She is now 83.
Corruption trials 
On September 21, 2007, the Sandiganbayan's 5th Division chair Associate Justice Ma. Cristina Cortez-Estrada granted Marcos' motion for daily trial on her 10 pending graft cases (beginning January 21, 2008, as requested by defense lawyers on September 17 alleging, inter alia, illnesses).
On March 10, 2008 Judge Silvino Pampilo (Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 26) acquitted Marcos of 32 counts of dollar salting (involving m in Swiss bank accounts) due to reasonable doubt. Marcos stated: "First of all, I am so happy and I thank the Lord that the 32 cases have been dismissed by the regional court here in Manila. This will subtract from the 901 cases that were filed against the Marcoses." Her lawyer Robert Sison said that she has 10 pending criminal cases remaining before the Sandiganbayan Courts.
On September 14, 2010, the Sandiganbayan's Fifth Division has ordered Imelda Marcos to return 12 million pesos ($280,000) in government funds secretly taken out by her late husband from the National Food Authority 27 years ago.
In July 2009, Marcos celebrated her 80th birthday at a lavish and glitzy party at the grand ballroom of Hotel Sofitel. Marcos' party, which aides said was paid for by friends, was reminiscent of the extravagant gatherings she threw in her heyday. Opera singers and a pianist performed on a stage adorned with her portrait. Marcos-era friends showed up, including former Indonesian first lady Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno, who flew in from Japan for the party.
In 2012, Marcos attended the September 27 Enrile book launch of Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir in the Rigodon Ballroom of The Peninsula Manila in Makati. It was a party that would have been unthinkable in 1972, 1983, 1986, or even 2001. Marcos gamely traded niceties with President Aquino, whose mother, the late president Corazón Aquino, ousted her husband, former president Ferdinand Marcos, in a bloodless coup in 1986.
In popular culture 
- Imelda Marcos was interviewed by Ruby Wax in an episode of her 1996 series Ruby Wax Meets.
- British musician Mark Knopfler satirized the extravagance of Imelda Marcos in the song "Imelda", featured on his album Golden Heart in 1996.
- In the 90210 third season episode "All About a Boy", Naomi Clark claimed to own more shoes than Imelda Marcos and Kimora Lee Simmons combined.
- In the RuPaul's Drag Race third season episode "The Snatch Game", drag queen Manila Luzon impersonated Imelda Marcos in the episode's main challenge.
- In the Suburgatory season 1 episode "Hear No Evil", George Altman asks his daughter Tessa if she was sure it was Dallas Royce she was quoting about fingernails, and not Imelda Marcos.
- In 2010, British producer Fatboy Slim and American musician David Byrne created a concept album called Here Lies Love which centers around the life of Imelda Marcos leading up to her family's exile in Hawai'i. The album featured many guest female singers like Cyndi Lauper, Florence Welch and Santigold, alternately playing the roles of Marcos and her servant, Estrella Cumpas, in each its tracks. In the spring of 2013 The Public Theater will present a staged musical version of the album.
- In the TV series Ideal, the character of Brian tries on 210 pairs of trainers. His friend, Moz, tells him that he has been possessed by Imelda Marcos.
- In the TV Series Gilmore Girls, in Episode 13 of Season 7 "I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia", Rory Gilmore mentions that her grandmother's shoe collection rivals Imelda Marcos'.
- Imelda Marcos is the subject of the 2003 documentary film Imelda by Ramona S. Diaz.
- Reid, Robert H. (November 3, 1991). "A "Roller-Coaster" Life For One Of The World's Most Famous Women". Associated Press.
- Soloski, Alex (October 6, 2009). "Imelda Marcus Gets the Ol' Song and Dance at Julia Miles Theater". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
- Morrow, Lance (March 31, 1986). "Essay: The Shoes of Imelda Marcos". New York Times.
- Kerima Polotan, "Imelda Romualdez Marcos, A Biography of the First Lady of the Philippines", The World Publishing Company, Ohio
- "Kokoy Romualdez, powerful younger brother of Imelda Marcos, dies at 81". GMA. February 2012.
- Katherine Ellison, Imelda, Steel Butterfly of the Philippines, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1988. ISBN 0-07-019335-5
- Carmen Navarro Pedrosa. The Untold Story of Imelda Marcos, Manila: Bookmark, 1969, p. 3–4.
- "Mrs. Marcos / Assassination Attempt". Television News Archive/Vanderbilt University.
- McNeill, David (February 25, 2006). "The weird world of Imelda Marcos". The Independent (London). Retrieved December 30, 2006.
- Kasaysayan ng Lahi [documentary video], Manila: National Media Production Board, 1974
- Serin, J.R., A.L. Elamil. D.C. Serion, et al. Ugnayan ng Pamhalaan at Mamamayan. Manila: Bede's Publishing House, Inc., 1979.
- Ramona Diaz. Imelda [film]. Ramona Diaz-Independent Television Service, 2003.
- "Imeldarabilia: A Final Count". Time/CNN. February 23, 1987. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
- "The day in numbers: $100 - CNN.com". CNN.
- "Investigations: Imeldarabilia: A Final Count". Time. February 23, 1987.
- Department of Transportation and Communications Memorandum Circular No. 89-291, dated June 9, 1989. Excerpts: "Resolved, as it its is hereby resolved that, in the interest of national security and tranquility and pursuant to the declared national policy, any aircraft carrying deposed president Ferdinand E. Marcos is prohibited from entering Philippine airspace or, landing or disembarking in Philippine territory. This prohibition shall apply to the remains in the event of his death."
- 177 SCRA 668, The Philippine Supreme Court, voting 8–7, prohibited the return of President Marcos and members of his family to the Philippines
- Angelo, Bonnie (July 2, 1990). "Judge Wapner, Where Are You?". Time/CNN. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
- Commission on Elections. Report of the Commission on Elections to the President and Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. Manila: Commission on Elections, Manila
- Imelda Marcos vs. Sandiganbayan, GR. No. 126995 [Supreme Court Resolution], dated October 6, 1998
- GMA NEWS.TV@em`tixe`, Sandigan OKs Imelda bid for daily hearings on graft cases
- abs-cbnnews.com, Imelda not guilty of dollar salting
- ukpress.google.com, Marcos cleared of illegal money move[dead link]
- "Philippine court orders Imelda Marcos to return $280,000 seized from food agency", Washington Post
- "Philippine court orders Imelda Marcos to repay funds", The Philippine News, Monday, April 11, 2011 (AFP story)
Further reading 
- Imelda, Steel butterfly of the Philippines, Katherine Ellison, author, McGrawHill, New York, 1988, ISBN 0-07-019335-5
- Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Kerima Polotan
- Cronies and Enemies: the Current Philippine Scene, Belinda Aquino, editor, University of Hawaii, 1982
- Waltzing with a Dictator: the Marcoses and the Making of American Policy, Raymond Bonner, author, Times Books, New York, 1987, ISBN 0-8129-1326-4
- Imelda: a Story of the Philippines, Beatriz Francia, author
- Presidential Plunder: the Quest for Marcos Ill-Gotten Wealth, Jovito Salonga, author, Regina Publishing Company, Manila, 2001
- Inside the Palace: The Rise and Fall of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Beth Day Romulo, author, Putnam Publishing Group, New York, 1987, ISBN 0-399-13253-8
- The Marcos Dynasty, Sterling Seagrave, author, Harper & Row, New York, 1988, ISBN 0-06-015815-8
- The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos, Primitivo Mijares, author, Union Square Publishing, ISBN 1-141-12147-6
- Imelda Marcos Quotes BrainyQuote
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Imelda Marcos|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Imelda Marcos|
- Photos Imelda Marcos jewelry-Roumeloites collection
- Marcos Presidential Center
- Imelda's crown jewels to go under the hammer BBC News, May 13, 2003
- A Showcase of Extravagance: Imelda Marcos
- The wit and wisdom of Imelda Marcos The Wily Filipino
- "Imelda" – Documentary on Imelda Marcos Independent Lens
- Imelda Marcos arrest ordered CNN.com, October 16, 2001
- Her Greatest Admirer: A documentary about Imelda Marcos reveals an extraordinary capacity for self-delusion TIME, July 5, 2004
- PCGG eye settlement ABS CBN News
|First Lady of the Philippines
Title next held byAmelita Ramos
|House of Representatives of the Philippines|
Cirilo Roy C. Montejo
|Member of the House of Representatives from Leyte's 1st district
Cirilo Roy C. Montejo
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
|Member of the House of Representatives from Ilocos Norte's 2nd district