MANILA (UPDATE 4)- Manila Mayor Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso was named as Aksyon Demokratiko's new party president last Tuesday, two months before the filing of candidacies for the 2022 national elections, the party said Thursday.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto retained his position as executive vice president of the party that was founded by the late Sen. Raul Roco. Aksyon Demokratiko is rumored to back Domagoso's possible presidential bid in next year's elections.
"Prior to his membership and eventual election as party President, Aksyon Demokratiko and Mayor Isko had a meeting of minds and hearts in many aspects," the party said in a statement.
"We agreed on the COVID-19 response then to providing jobs and livelihood at these times. We also agreed on the rule of law, focusing on education, housing, and health care," the party added.
"Aksyon is proud that Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso was elected Party President."
The Manila mayor, who is turning 47 in October, said he is honored to lead a "progressive party that has genuine concern for Filipinos."
"Masaya ako na maraming alignments sa nais naming isulong sa Asenso Manileno, ang aking napapabilangang lokal na partido."
(I am happy that Aksyon Demokratiko is aligned with Asenso Manilenyo, my local party, in so many issues.)
Aksyon Demokratiko's president was Mandaluyong City councilor Danny de Guzman until Domagoso's election.
The party's new set of officials are as follows:
- Chair: Former Asst. Secretary Ernest Ramel Jr.
- Vice Chair: Concepcion, Tarlac Mayor Andy Lacson
- President: Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso
- Executive Vice President: Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto
- Secretary General: Former National Youth Commission Chair Leon Flores III
- VP for Women: May Lim
- VP for Youth: Councilor Kaye Ann Legaspi
- Deputy Sec-Gen: Jayson San Juan
- Treasurer: Michael Roy Cuerpo
- Gen. Counsel: Atty. Normandy Baldovino Jr
- Executive Director: John Erdie delos Santos
"We saw in Yorme someone with a clean track record, tangible accomplishments, and a vision that the party shares," Ramel said in a statement.
"We are confident that he will be able to help lead the party in its thrust to be a unifying force in an atmosphere of heavy political polarization," he said.
Sen. Roco's widow and Aksyon co-founder Sonia Roco said her husband's dream for the Philippines could "only be realized if we all continue to motivate young, progressive, reform-oriented leaders to take on leadership roles, especially in public service."
Roco, who succumbed to cancer in 2005, sought the country's top post twice - in 1998 and 2004. He lost in both attempts.
The party's new officials were supposed to be sworn in during his 16th death anniversary last August 5, but the event was canceled as Domagoso had to address "chaos" in vaccination sites.
The party announced its list of new officials just a few days ahead of the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) August 15 deadline for the submission of the Sworn Information Update Statement (SIUS).
The SIUS - a document stating the party's office details, list of officers, list of elected members, and other information - is meant "to ensure that those in the registry are still in existence and continue to comply with the requirements of the Constitution," the Comelec said in an earlier circular.
Prior to joining Aksyon Demokratiko, Domagoso served as vice-chairman for political affairs of the National Unity Party, which supported his failed senatorial bid in 2016.
He resigned from the NUP on August 4, his chief of staff Cesar Chavez told ABS-CBN News in an earlier interview. He had no problem there that may have prompted his transfer to Aksyon Demokratiko, according to the latter's new chair, Ramel.
"Siguro, kung meron man, baka nagsalita na yung National Unity Party laban sa kaniya or kung anuman yung pwede nilang sabihin," Ramel told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo last Tuesday.
(The National Unity Party would have spoken already if they have something against the Mayor.)
"Kami naman, tinanggap naman namin siya sa basehan ng prinsipyo, ideyalismo at plataporma, at pati track record niya," he said.
(We accepted him in the party based on his principles, idealism, platforms and his track record.)
"Kasi, alam mo naman na iniingatan ng Aksyon Demokratiko yung imahe ng aming founder, si former Senator, the late Raul Roco. So, andun po kami nakalinya. At, makita mo naman, katulad ng isang ehemplo ng partido, si Mayor Vico Sotto. So nakita n'yo naman how the party is recruiting and growing," he added.
(Aksyon Demokratiko is careful in preserving the image of our founder, the late former Sen. Raul Roco. So we work along that time. As you can see, an example of our party member is Vico Sotto. So you see how the party is recruiting and growing.)
The Manila mayor has yet to formally announce his plans for the 2022 national elections even as his ascent to Aksyon Demokratiko's leadership continues to fuel speculation that he is supposedly positioning himself for the upcoming presidential race.
Before starting his political career in 1998 when he was elected as councilor for Manila’s first congressional district, Domagoso spent some years in show business.
He was elected as Manila City mayor in 2019.
- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News