Isko Moreno on Willie Ong as VP: I need a doctor to manage COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno defended his decision to pick online personality Dr. Willie Ong as his running mate for the 2022 presidential elections, saying having a doctor as a partner in governance worked well for the city.
Moreno during the formal announcement of his presidential bid was referring to Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, who is also a medical doctor. Moreno said Lacuna was instrumental in managing the city’s COVID-19 outbreaks.
The same formula, the mayor said, would help him solve the country’s COVID-19 problem.
“So naisip namin, tignan nga natin ‘yong style ng Manila, kasi ‘yong nangyari sa Manila, malaking porsyento ng oras ko, nabawasan, tumugon sa lahat ng suliraning epekto ng pandemyang ito, dahil Day 1 pa lamang, si Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna bilang doktor, ay pinatanganan ko sa kanya ‘yong healthcare,” Moreno said.
(So we thought of using the style of Manila, because with what happened to Manila, a big percentage of my time was saved, which would have been allotted to thinking of ways to solve the pandemic because, since Day 1, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna as a doctor helped me in the healthcare concerns.)
“So I was properly guided on what machines to buy, what type of doctor or specialist to hire, like infectious disease doctor and pulmonologists, what type of equipment and medicine, and approach,” he added.
Moreno acknowledged that usually, the best decision for a presidential candidate is to team up with someone who is well-known or those who come from a political background. However, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, he said having a doctor to help may be the best choice.
“Normally, ang pinaka-mabisa sa isang kandidatong presidente ‘yoong makasama mo ay malalaking partido, malalaking pamilya, may pangalan, sikat sa pulitika. Parang ‘yon ‘yong norms,” he explained.
(Normally, a presidential candidate would get bigger chances if they join huge political parties, big families, those with name-recall, and those who are famous in the realm of politics. It seemed to be the norm.)
“But remember we are in an abnormal time, we are not in a normal time, we need some measures, make decisions that can address our challenges today. So sabi ko, eh kung mag-apply tayo sa taumbayan bilang pangulo, eh we should think differently and really show our people, our desire to be of service,” he added.
(But remember we are in an abnormal time, we are not in a normal time, we need some measures, make decisions that can address our challenges today. So I said, if we are going to apply to our constituents as president, we should think differently and really show our people our desire to be of service.)
He also admitted that he was just asking Ong to be a senatorial candidate, but eventually asked him to run for vice president as he can help more people on that platform.
“Kaya no’ng kami-kami nagke-kwentuhan, napag-usapan si Doc Willie. No’ng una, totoo ang sinabi niya, niyayaya ko siya, senador, tumanggi eh. Masaya na ako dito, kumikita ako sa blog, hindi ko naman ‘to kabuhayan, ‘yong kinikita ko sa blog binibigay ko sa tao, hindi naman kami nagugutom ni misis at ng pamilya,” Moreno relayed.
(When I got the chance to talk with Doc Willie, initially — he was telling the truth — I asked him to run for senator. He declined, saying that he is already happy with what he is earning from his blog, he said that it is not his main source of livelihood. What he earns is given to other people, and despite that his family does not grow hungry.)
“If you really wanted to help, be part of the system, and from deep within, we change the course of action and policies para mas marami tayong ma-reach na tao na matutulungan,” he added.
(But I told him) if you really wanted to help, be part of the system, and from deep within, we change the course of action and policies so that we could reach more people whom we could help.)
Moreno earlier formalized his presidential bid for the 2022 national elections, but made the announcement on Tuesday night, ending speculations about his candidacy.
However, a lot of netizens expressed shock at his decision to partner with Ong.
Earlier, it was revealed by Moreno’s campaign manager Lito Banayo that Senator Grace Poe was the first choice of the team, but talks failed.
Moreno in 2016 ran for senator under the ticket of then-presidential candidate Poe and her running mate then, Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero.
Banayo speculated that Poe’s refusal might be because of her relationship with the family of Senate President Vicente Sotto III — who is also gunning for vice president.
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