By Lance Arevada


City Hall now, Malacañang in 2022.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has formally launched his bid for president in the 2022 Elections on Wednesday, vowing to bring the broadest form of governance in the post-pandemic Philippines.

Popularly known as Manila’s “Yorme,” Moreno said that he will be a “healing president” that will lead “national reconstruction and reconciliation” in the country, with being open to criticisms and complaints to improve public service.

The celebrity-turned-politician has tapped Dr. Willie Ong, a public health advocate with a large social media following, to be his running mate in his presidential bid for the country’s first national elections held in the time of pandemic. 

“Nakilala niyo po akong tapat sa pamamahala at totoong pananalita, Hard work and straight talk.... Kaya buong kababaang loob na inihahayag ko sa inyo, mga kababayan ko, sa darating na Mayo, tanggapin nyo po ang aking aplikasyon bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas,” the mayor said.

Moreno and Ong launched their candidacies in a housing area in Tondo called Basecommunity, one of the mayor’s pet projects and where he grew up before as a scavenger.

In his declaration speech, the mayor once again looked back to the lessons and experiences he gained from his early life in Tondo.

“There is also another lesson I learned in early life: while poverty dehumanizes, it must not take the humanity out of you. Opo, lumaki akong busabos, ngunit hindi ako naging bastos,” he said.

In an apparent reference to other presidentiables, Moreno also noted that he did not come from any political dynasty with only himself being the lone Domagoso in politics.

"I don't belong to a large clan. I am neither son or daughter of a president. Hindi n'yo makikita sa pera ang mukha ng aking walang perang mga ninuno o avenues named after them. Kahit na eskinita o waiting shed wala silang pangalang Domagoso,” he added.

The mayor said he will base his campaign’s platforms on what has been already implemented in Manila, in which he featured his vertical in-house city projects and the city’s pandemic response efforts.

“I do not run in promises, I run on prototypes.... I may not give you perfect government, buy together we can make it better,” he added.

Moreno, 46, is the third candidate to officially declare his presidential bid in the 2022 Elections. He is set to run under Aksyon Demokratiko, a relatively small party he recently joined and took over as Party President.

Previous reports confirmed Moreno’s meeting with other potential bets Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Manny Pacquiao to unify the opposition, in which it appears had failed since he and Pacquiao already declared their candidacies. 

If elected president, Moreno will be the youngest president in post-EDSA Philippines at age 47 and will be the second former celebrity taking the highest seat of office since Joseph Estrada.

Report sources: ABS-CBN News, Rappler