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Doc Willie disagrees with Isko: Nobody should have been asked to withdraw

/ 01:27 PM April 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential candidate Doc Willie Ong disagreed with the call made by his running mate, Manila Mayor  Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, for another presidential candidate to withdraw from the presidential race as he believes no one should have been asked to back out from the elections.

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In a statement on Tuesday noon, Ong said he disagrees with Moreno’s call for Vice President Leni Robredo to step out of the race, as it is the right of anyone to run for any position he or she desires.

Ong’s reaction came after sitting beside Moreno during last Easter Sunday’s press briefing, wherein the Manila Mayor asked Robredo to make the ‘supreme sacrifice’ of withdrawing to have a higher chance of beating the survey frontrunner, former senator Bongbong Marcos.

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“Dapat ba siya mag-withdraw, (si) VP Leni? Siyempre, ako, hindi. Go siya. Sa akin, go kayo lahat. Go kayo lahat. Walang magpipigil,” Ong said in a livestream on his Facebook page.

READ: Moreno calls on Robredo to withdraw from presidential race 

Ong said that him speaking out, regardless of his opinions being different from Moreno’s, was a non-negotiable when he decided to team up with the Manila Mayor last September.

He also said that he thinks Robredo is very much qualified to run for president, as the Vice President has shown her capability several times.

“Ang sabi ko kay Mayor Isko, pagpasok ko noong September, I will be myself. Hindi ako maninira sa iba. Yung opinion niya, siyempre, hindi ko naman opinion. Iyon yung experience niya. Hindi naman ako kasali sa usapan,” Ong said.

“Ano bang honest na tingin ko kay VP Leni? Sa akin, lawyer siya. Magaling siya. Magaling sumagot, matalino. Ito honest (opinion) ko, ha: ‘yung sa Jessica Soho, alam mo yung Jessica Soho interview, 25 issues ‘yun, eh: divorce, lahat, West Philippine Sea. Yung 25 issues na nandun, sinagot ko mag-isa. One hundred percent pareho sagot ko dun kay VP Leni,” he added.

Ong was one of the five national candidates present during the Easter Sunday briefing at the Manila Peninsula, sitting alongside Moreno, presidential candidates Senator Panfilo Lacson and Norberto Gonzales, and Lacson’s running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

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All candidates present during the briefing have expressed intent to finish the presidential race amid supposed calls from Robredo’s camp for them to withdraw.  Also, Moreno and Lacson took turns to criticize the Vice President — with Moreno saying that the surveys where Robredo is second behind Marcos have been polluted.

READ: Isko admits going off script in withdraw call vs Leni 

Lacson on the other hand said that he knew Robredo’s character from her decision to leave her running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, in some sorties.

But Ong said that he was not even supposed to be sitting in front with the presidential candidates.  That changed, he said, as Sotto was also asked to sit in front.

To avoid any misconceptions that Moreno is endorsing Sotto, Ong was asked to sit alongside the candidates.

“Unang-una, doon sa presscon po, hindi po ako kasama doon pero mag-aattend lang ako, gusto ko makinood. Tapos, mga a day before, sinabi sa akin ni Letlet, yung Special Assistant ni Mayor Isko, sabi niya, ‘Doc, isasama ni Senator Lacson si Tito Sen sa presscon. Kaya siguro mas maganda sama ka na rin kasi mamaya isipin, eh, di ba?’” he relayed.

“Siyempre, presidentiables, nandoon lang si Tito Sen. Baka sabihin siya lang ‘yung ineendorse, di ba?” he added.

Ong reiterated that his purpose for joining the program was only to insist on their candidacy.

“Ang pagkakaalam ko lang ang sabi nila: unity. Ibig sabihin, lahat tuloy-tuloy kasi meron nga silang naririnig, nababasa na withdraw si Isko, withdraw si Sen. Ping, withdraw si Manny, meron din sa amin mga ganung issue,” he said.

“Initially, sa baba kami nakaupo pero pinaakyat na rin kami doon sa taas. Yung sinign naming papel, nakasulat lang doon yung parang unity na tuloy-tuloy lang yung laban namin. Tapos, sabi din nila, kung may possible na dayaan sa Comelec, at least united yung tatlo. Iyon lang,” he added.

While Moreno may be the first presidential candidate in the 2022 elections to call on another candidate to back down, the Manila Mayor also received these requests from Robredo’s supporters after she decided to finally run for president.

As the hashtag #LabanLeni2022 trended on Twitter after Robredo’s announcement last October 7, so did #WithdrawIsko, to which Moreno asked why only elitists are allowed to rule the country.

RELATED STORIES:

#LabanLeni2022, #WithdrawIsko trend on Twitter 

Isko pokes fun at #WithdrawIsko, Robredo’s call for unity after she ‘dropped’ LP 

JPV

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 national elections, Doc Willie Ong, Leni Robredo, Manila, Mayor Isko Moreno, Office of the Vice President, withdraw
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