Duterte volunteer group backs Isko Moreno for president | Inquirer News

Duterte volunteer group endorses Isko Moreno for president

By: - Contributor / @inquirerdotnet
/ 01:59 AM February 20, 2022

Isko Moreno and John Castriciones, for story: Duterte volunteer group endorses Isko Moreno for president

Former Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones (right) heads the Duterte volunteer group that committed on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, to campaign nationwide for the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

MANILA, Philippines — The officers and members of a group that propelled Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency in 2016 handed over on Saturday a Manifesto of Support for the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

The group — called the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) — is headed by former Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones as president.


Moreno received the manifesto in a simple ceremony at the headquarters of the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President at the ECJ Building in Intramuros, Manila.


Castriciones and regional and provincial officials of MRRD-NECC later raised Mayor Isko’s hand to seal their endorsement to the 47-year-old presidential aspirant.

‘Most qualified’

The former Duterte Cabinet member said MRRD-NECC endorsed Moreno for being the most qualified among the presidential candidates, having all the qualities and abilities to be the next president of the Republic of the Philippines.

“We are supporting you because we have seen your sincerity in serving the country,” Castriciones told Moreno in Filipino. “We many candidates who also want to serve, but of course, the candidate we want is one who truly loves the poor.”

Castriciones said that Moreno, more than all the other presidential candidates, truly understood the lives of the poor and would look after their interests if elected president.

“Secondly, we have also seen how you have changed Manila,” Castriciones continued. “That’s why we believe that, because Manila is the premier city of our country, what you can do for Manila you can also do for the whole Philippines.”

“And of course, we also see — and you have mentioned – the continuity of the projects and programs of the Duterte administration. And of course, most of all, we see in you that you are a person who is sincere and who fears God. That’s why, as you said, God first,” he added.


As former agrarian reform secretary, he also appealed to Moreno to support Filipino farmers and continue the land distribution programs of the government.

Members of MRRD-NECC, for story: Duterte volunteer group endorses Isko Moreno for president

Members of the MRRD-NECC hold up a sign of support for Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

Nationwide campaign

Castriciones said with their endorsement, officers and members of MRRD-NECC will now start campaigning for Moreno throughout the country to ensure his victory in the May elections.

“Tomorrow is the start, Mr. Mayor,” he said. “In the whole of Mindanao, we will banner your name so that we can make sure of the support of the citizens in Mindanao. Also in Luzon and the Visayas, the entire membership of MRRD-NECC will really campaign for you and help you.”

Moreno said he was at a loss for words on how to show his deep gratitude for MRRD-NECC’s show of full support.

“As you all know, I’ve been telling everyone that I will need all kinds of help,” Moreno said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino. “Today, I think, I got the biggest support from MRRD-NECC — because you were able to make a president win. Maybe you can do it a second time.”

Moreno assured the group that he was committed to addressing the perennial problems of poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality, and social injustice by focusing on providing the minimum basic needs of the people — housing, education, health care, and jobs.

All these he hoped to achieve through the efficient and prudent management of government resources.

These form the main pillars of his 10-Point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda.

“In the 24 years of my life in public service, with the grace of God, I have not lost my way and my standard has always been service to the people first. It’s always about the people, how to raise the level of life of our countrymen. It’s always the quality of life,” Moreno said.

Isko Moreno with his supporters, for story: Duterte volunteer group endorses Isko Moreno for president

Mayor Isko Moreno posed for selfies with supporters after the handover of the MRRD-NECC Manifesto of Support.

Continuing Duterte’s projects

Moreno pointed out that his Economic Agenda would include the continuation of Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program. But this time the focus would be on building more public housing, more public hospitals, more public schools.

This, he said, would create more jobs and stimulate more businesses to raise the quality of life of Filipinos.

Moreno also vowed to support and protect farmers and the country’s food producers, as his Economic Agenda also focuses on agriculture as one of the economic pillars to accelerate human and economic growth.

Given the chance, Moreno said among the first economic policies that his administration would institute would be to impose a 50 percent cut in the excise tax of petroleum products.

This, he said, should bring down the cost of food production, especially rice; raise the income of farmers and fisherfolk; bring down the prices of basic commodities; and sustain food production, among others.

“With the grace of God, with your help, you can help us. Go straight to the people, to the citizens, so you can relay our message, our hopes, to our countrymen — and that is, as I have committed to all Filipinos, the equality of all people,” he said.

“Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon; poor, middle class, rich — all are equal in the eyes of your servant in terms of policies, programs, and services,” he added.

Moreno, a former garbage man, became Manila councilor at 23, vice mayor at 32, and mayor at 44.

Happy development

The Team Isko chief campaign strategist, Lito Banayo, who has also been directly involved in the successful run of Duterte in 2016, said they were very pleased with  the endorsement,

“MRRD-NECC spearheaded the journey of then-Mayor Duterte. We are really happy at this event because they were the original supporters of President Duterte. As you can see, they have an army of supporters all over the country,” Banayo said at a media briefing after the ceremonies.

“And they have shown their loyalty to President Duterte, which we hope in the next six years will be loyal to also both to President Duterte and the next president of the Philippines, which is Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso,” he added.

Banayo is a seasoned campaign strategist who was also directly involved in the successful runs of the late President Benigno Aquino III in 2010, President Joseph Estrada in 1998, and the late President Cory Aquino in the February 1986 snap elections.


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