Willie Ong jumps ship to Isko's Aksyon from Lakas-CMD

Willie Ong jumps ship to Isko's Aksyon from Lakas-CMD
Doctor Willie Ong takes his oath as a member of Aksyon Demokratiko before party president Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso / Release

MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential aspirant Willie Ong formally transferred Saturday from Lakas – Christian Muslim Democrats to Aksyon Demokratiko, the party of his running mate Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

Ong took his oath before Aksyon president Moreno, which was witnessed by his wife Liza Ong and Aksyon chairman Ernest Ramel.

Ong is an internist and cardiologist with a massive following on social media. He first thrust himself into the political arena in the 2019 elections, when he ran for senator and placed 18th with 7.6 million votes.

The popular doctor only tendered his resignation from Lakas-CMD on Wednesday, the same day when he and Moreno formally announced their intention to vie for the vice presidency and the presidency.

At the announcement of their candidacies, Ong vowed to zero in on the COVID-19 pandemic but refused to criticize the current administration’s handling of the health crisis.

Ong was a consultant of the Department of Health and had warned that there were risks involved in using the controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia that the DOH stopped administering in 2017 because of the risks it posed to people who have not had dengue.

The controversy over Dengvaxia contributed to lower trust in vaccines that led to measles outbreaks in 2019 and vaccine hesitancy in 2021. — Xave Gregorio

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