Aksyon Demokratiko is ‘centrist, not opposition’; backs Moreno’s support of Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Aksyon Demokratiko is standing behind the decision of its party president and presidential bet Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s senatorial bid, saying they have taken a centrist approach.
Party chairperson Ernest Ramel clarified that Aksyon Demokratiko is not an opposition party — which means that they are not necessarily against the administration, unlike other political groups that have opposed Duterte’s government.
“We stand by with the pronouncement of our Party President and standard-bearer. Aksyon has taken a centrist and objective stand on many issues and is not an opposition party per se,” it said in a statement Monday.
According to the party, while they believe that some of the administration’s programs need fine-tuning, they think some are worth continuing.
“We believe that there are current administration policies and programs worth continuing while there are some that can be improved, discontinued, or rectified. Add to that, Aksyon is willing to work with anyone that supports Mayor Isko’s Bilis Kilos programs,” it said.
The clarification from the party came after Moreno told reporters in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, that apart from voting the senatorial aspirants in his slate – Samira Gutoc, Carl Balita, and Jopet Sison – he would also vote for President Duterte, who is likewise gunning for a seat in the Senate via the May 2022 elections.
Moreno even said he would endorse Duterte’s senatorial candidacy and consider him to be part of his team’s senatorial list.
“I’m going to vote for him personally, I’m going to endorse him kung papayag siya, I’ll be honored. I’ll be humbled and honored na umoo si Pangulong Duterte. Nakuha ko nga siyang iboto, hindi ko pa ba makuhang siya’y i-adopt,” Moreno said.
(I’m going to vote for him personally, I’m going to endorse him if he will oblige. I’ll be honored. I’ll be humbled and honored if President Duterte says yes. If I have expressed a desire to vote for him, why can’t I adopt him for my slate?)
When asked why he was voting for Duterte, Moreno said that the public cannot discount what the President has done for the country, adding that he is very qualified for the Senate.
“Bakit hindi? I think, well hindi natin pwedeng tawaran ‘yong kanyang kakayanan, he is a qualified candidate for the Senate, in fairness to him. Basta ito personal choice ko ha,” he added.
(Why not? I think, well, we cannot discount or question his capabilities, he is a qualified candidate for the Senate in fairness to him. This is my personal choice.)
Ramel said the party’s decision to support Moreno’s “personal choice” to back Duterte’s senatorial bid has the blessing of the Aksyon Demokratiko’s leadership.
Moreno in the past has been tagged by some reports as Duterte’s secret candidate – a claim he repeatedly denied, saying whoever thinks that way must be high on drugs.
On one occasion, Moreno even said that technically, he is not Duterte’s candidate because he is running under Aksyon Demokratiko which was founded by the late Senator Raul Roco.
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