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Manila Mayor Isko Moreno guns for Malacañang, files COC with running mate Doc Willie Ong

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 12:27 p.m.) — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and his running mate doctor Willie Ong have filed their certificates of candidacy for president and vice president, respectively, in the 2022 national polls.

Moreno arrived at the Sofitel tent in Pasay City before noon on Monday. He and Ong filed their COCs after visiting Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish early in the day.

Moreno and Ong are being fielded by Aksyon Demokratiko party, which the Manila mayor currently heads.

FOLLOW: LIVE updates: Filing of COCs for 2022 elections

Moreno’s campaign team said they picked October 4 to file their COCs as it coincides with the Feast of St. Francis de Assisi and the birthday of the late German Moreno, who the Manila mayor considers as his “mentor.”

Speaking to members of the media after filing, Moreno reiterated that he wants to be a “healing” president, Moreno stressed that he is willing to work with anyone. But he urged the public to vote for him and Ong as a tandem, stressing that he picked his running-mate "so that portion of our obligation, will be dedicated to our economic challenges.. These things, at least kahit papano, mabibigyan ng sapat na oras dahil meron akong doctor na katulong sa pagtugon sa pandemya."

During the formal launch on their tandem, Moreno repeated thrice that he “can work with anybody,” sidestepping questions about his ties to the Duterte administration and whether he plans to run as an opposition candidate. 

"I will form the broadest form of government with the best and brightest at its helm," he vowed instead in a speech delivered partially in Filipino. "[I will not just appoint people] from the City of Manila, one party, one faction, one profession, tribe or age group." 

Moreno first started serving Manila when he won a city council seat in 1998 and was reelected in 2001 and 2004. In 2007, he became Manila’s vice mayor.

According to his profile on the Manila city government website, Moreno sat as chairman of the board of the then-North Luzon Railways Corporation in 2017. The following year, he was appointed as Social Welfare undersecretary for Luzon affairs.

Ong vies for national spot

Ong specializes in cardiology and in internal medicine and worked as a former consultant to the Department of Health.

His Facebook page, where he regularly gives medical advice and tips, boasts of a 16 million-strong following.

During the formal launch of their tandem on September 22, Ong said he noticed the need for health workers. “Nakikita ko mga doctor nag-iiyakan na, nagmamakaawa, mga nurse never ko nakitang umiyak yan… Andito si Yorme, sinabi sakin bahala ka na sa kalusugan… Ito na ang opportunity. Sino ba ako para tumanggi?”

During his stint at the DOH, he had warned that there were risks involved in using Dengvaxia — the controversial anti-dengue vaccine that the DOH stopped administering in 2017 because of risks to vaccinees who had not previously had dengue.

He ran under the Lakas-CMD slate but lost in the 2019 midterm elections.

In the latest Pulse Asia pre-elections survey conducted on September 6 to 11, Moreno ranked third (13%), behind Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte with 20% preference and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. with 15%.

Duterte already said she is not joining the presidential race, while Marcos to accept the nomination of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party-list, which his father, the late dictator, founded.

FOLLOW: LIVE list: Aspirants for national posts in the 2022 elections

2022 ELECTIONS 2022 POLLS ISKO MORENO WILLIE ONG
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