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Isko Moreno running for president with Doc Willie Ong as VP in 2022

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Sep 21, 2021 7:12 pm Updated Sep 22, 2021 12:27 pm

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has formally announced his 2022 presidential bid alongside his vice presidential running mate Doc Willie Ong in a Sept. 22 event in Baseco, Manila.

“Nakilala niyo po akong tapat sa pamamahala at totoong pananalita. Hard work and straight talk. Whether it is about city projects or personal beliefs, I convey it with candor and I do not play coy. Real talk lang po palagi. Kaya buong kababaang loob na inihahayag ko sa inyo, mga kababayan ko, sa darating na Mayo, tanggapin nyo po ang aking aplikasyon bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas,” said Moreno.

A former actor and matinee idol, Moreno is the 22nd mayor of Manila, an office he has held since 2019. He won against former president and Manila mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada. Out of Manila's 657,125 voters, Moreno won 357,925 votes to Estrada's  210,605 and former mayor Alfredo Lim's 138,923 votes.

Moreno  was a three-term councilor from 1998 to 2007, and Vice Mayor from 2007 to 2016.

Moreno became the elected president of Aksyon Demokratiko in August 2021. He also became vocal regarding the current administration's COVID-19 response, calling an end to the mandatory use of face shields. He also scored the "slow" distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

On June 4, Moreno bared his plan to run in the 2022 national and local elections but added that the post he is eyeing “remains to be seen.”

Dr. Willie Ong, who almost snagged a Senate seat during the 2019 midterm elections, is an internist and cardiologist with a masters degree in public health. During this 2019 campaign under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, Ong was aiming to push for affordable and accessible healthcare to Filipinos, most especially for the poor.

Among Ong’s agenda is providing improved hospital facilities and equipment. He also once said he is open to legalization of medical marijuana in the Philippines for certain health conditions.

Ong is known for his health and medical tips, which he posts in his social media pages, including his official Facebook page with over 16 million followers and YouTube channel with more than 2 million followers. He started as a medical columnist for the Philippine Star. 

On Sept. 20, Moreno said he had a meeting with Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Manny Pacquiao ahead of the filing of candidacy in October. He refused to provide details of their meeting, but said he would make his decision in a couple of days. Moreno is set to make an “important” announcement to media tomorrow morning.

Moreno leads ‘presidential bets’ in survey

In a Pulse Asia national survey in July, Moreno and Sara Duterte led the pack (14%) for  first-choice presidential preferences. They were followed by Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos (13%), Sen. Grace Poe (10%), and Sen. Manny Pacquiao (8%).