‘Respect his decision,’ Isko Moreno, partymates say of Duterte Senate bid withdrawal
ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday urged the public to respect President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to back out from the Senate race.
“It’s surprising simply because the President already made known his intention to run for senator. But again, I respect his decision or anybody for that matter who will withdraw kasi choices rin naman nila ‘yan,” Moreno told reporters at the Madge Café near the La Paz Public Market here.
Moreno earlier wished Senator Bong Go a peaceful life after the long-time close aide of President Duterte formally withdrew his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for president.
“Again, life must go on. We must continue to work hand in hand with the President because he will be President up to June 30. There are policies and programs na pwede naming mapagtulungan lalo na ‘yung National Vaccination Program na medyo naantala lamang dahil sa bagyo. But be it as it may, we will continue to support the President,” Moreno said.
When asked by the media if he is still optimistic that President Duterte will support him in his presidential bid, Moreno is still hopeful that the chief executive will vote for him on May 9, 2022.
“Sana maiboto niya ako kasi he is still a voter, one vote din ‘yun. Sana maboto rin niya ang mga kandidato ko. As a candidate you would always wish and hope na maboto ka ng tao for each and every vote matters,” Moreno pointed out.
Aside from running-mate Dr. Willie Ong, also present during the breakfast conference with media are senatorial bets Samira Gutoc of Marawi City, Dr. Carl Balita of Oriental Mindoro and Jopet Sison of Quezon City.
Ong said the President made the right decision not to continue with his plan to seek a seat in the Senate so that he could rest after his term ends.
“Para sa akin syempre as a doctor eh nagawa na niya ‘yung gagawin nya. May edad na sya so maganda rin ‘yung magpahinga. Syempre sa bawat tao ang gusto natin maging masaya sa buhay nya. ‘Yun naman ang naging personal decision nya and we respect that. Good luck po sa kanya,” Ong said.
On the other hand, Balita felt relieved after finding out that President Duterte has decided not to pursue his candidacy for senator as this will open another slot for other candidates to enter the “Magic 12.”
“It was a relief and one slot now is open among the candidates and we are very happy for that. I’m (also) happy that the President could somehow relax after his term,” Balita said.
“Masaya kami kasi meron kaming isang base na pag-aagawan. Syempre malaki pa rin ang papel niya bilang isang leader pero ‘yung position nya as Senate, nabakante ang isang upuan sigurado ‘yun at meron kaming agawan base para doon,” he said.
Sison said despite the President’s withdrawal, that doesn’t mean that they will just sit back and relax considering the number of candidates running for the same position.
“Mahigit isang daan ang mga kandidato at kahit papaano nabasawan ng isa na alam naman natin eh talagang malakas dahil isa syang Presidente. Syempre ang tinitignan pa rin namin eh ang kabuuan, nangangampanya kami upang umangat ang aming posisyon so sisipot kami para makapasok sa Magic 12,” Sison said.
Gutoc, for her part, said despite being a harsh critic of the President particularly on his war on drugs and extra-judicial killings (EJKs), all his plans and programs should be finished.
“So, President, I’m here as your co-Mindanaoan, I’m with Yorme at kung ano ‘yung dinadala naming ni Yorme, Bilis-Kilos. Hindi po ninyo ako kalaban Mr. President. Alam kong masakit ang mga nasabi ko noon pero sa inyo na tapusin natin ang dapat tapusin, bigyan natin ng health care ang dapat bigyan, ‘yung pandemic response, bigyan natin,” Gutoc said.
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