MANILA, Sept 22 (Mabuhay) — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno will run for president in Eleksyon 2022 while former senatorial candidate Willie Ong will be his running mate, Manila City Public Information Office confirmed on Tuesday.

“Confirmed,” Manila PIO chief Julius Leonen said when asked if Moreno will join the presidential elections in 2022. He also confirmed that Ong will be Moreno’s vice president.

Moreno’s campaign manager Lito Banayo also confirmed the local chief executive’s presidential bid. 

The formal announcement of the Moreno-Ong tandem will be held on September 22, Wednesday, Banayo added.

According to Banayo, Moreno chose Ong as candidate for vice president because the latter may help address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreno told the Manila City government officials to focus on serving their constituents after he made the announcement of his candidacy.

“Tuloy ang gobyerno. (The government is still here.) We’re still here. I’m going to have to do what I have to do as the Mayor,” said Moreno.

Ong earned his medicinal degree from De La Salle University, and is also a previous consultant for Department of Health.

“Itong tambalan na ito ay pinag-isipan nang mabuti. Ayaw namin na political marriage. ‘Yung nag tambalan kasi malakas sa ganitong probinsya sa ganitong rehiyon,” Banayo said.

“Ang gusto kasi ni Mayor Isko Moreno yung makakatulong sa pamamahala. Lalo na ngayon, mayroon tayong pandemya,” he added.

“Walang trabaho, nagugutom ang tao. Sana naman sa kalusugan ng tao, may tututok talaga.”

Ong ran for senator in 2019 under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.

Meanwhile, Banayo said they have yet to choose senatorial candidates.

Moreno previously had a meeting with Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Manny Pacquiao regarding elections prior to filing of candidacy in October.

The Vice President said on Sunday she is more than prepared if she is chosen to be the opposition’s “unity candidate.”

Pacquiao, for his part, on Sunday accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban faction to be the party’s presidential candidate in the upcoming national elections.

The filing of certificates of candidacy for national and local positions has been set for October 1 to 8, the Commission on Elections said.

The Manila mayor is the president of the Aksyon Demokratiko political party.

It was also previously bared that opposition coalition 1Sambayan is choosing between Moreno and Robredo as it possible standard bearer.(MNS)

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