MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday confirmed that he will run for Philippine president in 2022, with Dr. Willie Ong as his vice-president.
In a text message, Domagoso told ABS-CBN News that he will announce his presidential candidacy on Wednesday, adding Ong will be his runningmate.
Moreno assured he will still continue to serve Manila residents amid his impending formal presidential run announcement.
"Tuloy ang gobyerno. We’re still here. I’m going to have to do what I have to do as the Mayor," he told Manila City government department heads in an online meeting on his decision to run for President in 2022.
Just like the Manila mayor, Ong enjoys a large social media following, with 16.37 million followers on Facebook, and 16.4K followers on Twitter.But his social media backing did not translate into votes for Ong in 2019 when he ran for the Senate.
Ong - who rose to fame for answering health-related questions on social media - failed to cinch a seat in the upper chamber after he landed on the 18th slot, with about 7.4 million votes.
Hours before Domagoso confirmed his 2022 tandem with Ong, the Manila mayor posted a minute-long video showcasing people from different walks of life relating with the plight of the actor-turned-politician.
"Keep on trying, wala namang mawawala sa atin. Kung nangyari sa akin, puwede rin sa inyo. Wala namang imposible," Domagoso said in the video, mostly shot in Basecommunity, one of his housing projects in the capital city.
Domagoso is the party president of Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, another popular politician on social media.
Ong has yet to answer queries on whether he has officially transferred to Aksyon.
Amid Moreno's confirmation of his run for the presidency, 1Sambayan convenor Howard Calleja told ABS-CBN News “nothing has changed” as all are still in talks.
“Announcing is different from filing and also different from actually running," he said.
Moreno is among candidates being eyed by the 1Sambayan coalition to endorse as presidential candidates. Others are Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Antonio Trillanes. - with a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News