Isko says 'political oligarchs buying people' ahead of 2022 presidential elections

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2022 03:19 AM

Presidential candidate Francisco Isko Moreno ABS-CBN News.
Presidential candidate Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso during a political rally at the Centro Mercato in Tarlac City on March 8, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.

LAPU-LAPU CITY - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday claimed that political oligarchs have been and would "continue to buy people" to boost the candidacies of several aspirants about a month before the 2022 presidential elections.

"Napaka fluid ngayon. 'Yung malalaking pulitiko, 'yung mga political oligarch will continue to buy people," Domagoso told reporters here.

"Hindi na siya bago. Don't be naive. We know it's happening," he said.

(It's so fluid now. The big politicians, political oligarchs will continue to buy people. It's not something new. Don't be naive. We know it's happening.)

Domagoso noted that one presidential contender earlier spoke about how several allies withdrew their support for his candidacy after he failed to provide millions of pesos in exchange for their backing.

The Manila mayor did not mention names, but last month, Sen. Panfilo Lacson resigned as president of Partido Reporma hours before his then-party officially announced that they would instead endorse Vice President Leni Robredo's presidential bid even after naming the lawmaker as their standard bearer.

Lacson alleged that the party asked him for some P800 million to continue their support, but party president and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez denied this, saying the senator's low survey ranking was the reason behind their about-face.

Several camps also tried to ask Aksyon Demokratiko for funds in exchange of mobilizing support for the party and its candidates, Domagoso alleged.

"Mayroong mga ganoon. May mga humihirit lang ng tulong pero walang specific [amount na hiningi]," he said.

(There are people like that. They ask for help but do not ask for a specific amount.)

When asked how he reacted to these offers, Domagoso said in jest: "Inuusog ko na lang. Laway-laway."

(I try to ward off the bad spirits. I tell them I have nothing but words.)

The strategy has always been to go directly to the people, and not through the political elite, said the Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer, who has often called himself as an "underdog" and an "outsider" vying for the Philippines' top elected post against members of prominent families.

Domagoso has also been trying to urge his supporters to "spend for candidates" by convincing their relatives and their neighbors to "Switch to Isko."

"Napakamodest ng kampaniya namin. Hindi kami magarbo," he said.

"Minsan nati-TY ko pa nga dahil ang gumagastos yung local [candidates] kaya ride lang kami ng ride," he said.

(Our campaign is very modest. We are not ostentatious. Sometimes we do not even spend for sorties because the local candidates spend for us and we just hitch in their event.)

In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Domagoso settled for the third spot with only 8 percent of respondents saying they would back his presidential bid if the elections were held in mid-March.

Former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. continues to lead Pulse Asia's pre-election survey with 56 percent, followed by Vice President Leni Robredo with 24 percent.

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