Duterte supporters now backing Isko Moreno candidacy | Inquirer News

Duterte supporters now backing Isko Moreno candidacy

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 05:36 AM February 10, 2022
Photo of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for story: Duterte supporters back Isko Moreno candidacy

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno

MANILA, Philippines — Some politicians “orphaned” by the withdrawal from the race of President Rodrigo Duterte’s erstwhile chosen successor, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, are now backing Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, his camp said on Wednesday.

On Day 2 of the campaign season, the Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer paid a courtesy call on Mayor Dennis Hernandez of Rodriguez town in Rizal province, who said he was shifting his support to Domagoso after previously backing Go.

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“The truth is, last month, we were all behind Bong Go. But when Bong Go withdrew from the race, [Rizal Gov. Rebecca Ynares] allowed us to choose. You were our choice,” he told Domagoso.

Go was supposed to be the standard-bearer of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) but backed out after the president’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, ran for vice president and partnered with former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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Friendly overtures

Duterte has not endorsed any of the presidential candidates, even threatening to expose their shortcomings at one point. He also earlier expressed disdain for his daughter’s running mate, describing Marcos as “spoiled” and a “weak leader.”

Meanwhile, the 47-year-old Domagoso has been sending friendly overtures to the president to secure his endorsement.

Other Duterte supporters wary of the late dictator’s son have turned to Domagoso as their preferred candidate.

On Tuesday, officers and members of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), a big volunteer group that helped propel him to the presidency during the 2016 elections, formally threw their support behind Domagoso.

Former Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, MRRD-NECC president, expressed the group’s commitment of support during the proclamation rally of Aksyon Demokratiko.

“In my capacity as president of the MRRD-NECC, we manifest our strong support for the candidacy of Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso,” he said to cheers at the Kartilya ng Katipunan beside Manila City Hall, where Domagoso kicked off his 90-day campaign.

“This election, we are supporting the candidacy of Mayor Isko Moreno, the next president of our country,” said Castriciones, who is seeking a Senate seat under the PDP-Laban ticket.“I am running for senator, but this afternoon, I am not here to campaign for myself. I am here to support the candidacy of Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso,” he said.

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Powerful political figures

Another prominent Duterte supporter, actress Vivian Velez, director-general of the Film Academy of the Philippines, is also now actively campaigning for Domagoso, according to the mayor’s camp.

Domagoso’s proclamation rally did not have as much star power as the other presidential contenders’ kick-off events, but a number of powerful political figures came out to support him, including Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who gave a videotaped message, and House Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia, who delivered a speech.

Recto leads One Batangas and has promised more than 1 million votes for the Manila mayor, while Garcia is the secretary-general of One Cebu and the brother of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

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