MANILA - Senator Grace Poe was the first choice of Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso's camp for the vice presidential race, his campaign strategist said Wednesday.
Domagoso and Doc Willie Ong will announce their candidacy later Wednesday morning at the new housing project of the mayor in Baseco community, according to campaign strategist Lito Banayo.
"'Di namin tinatago na talagang first choice namin si Grace Poe. We tried very hard...but she didn't agree principally because I guess one the personal relationship between her family and Senate President Tito Sotto. We did not want to enter into a political marriage," he told ANC's Headstart.
(We don't conceal the fact that our first choice was Grace Poe.)
"No, Isko is not like that. Once he makes up his mind, he sticks to it. That's a done deal, Doc Willie is our vice presidential candidate," he added when asked if Poe would later substitute for Ong.
Ong was originally a top candidate for Domagoso's senatorial slate but the mayor said the doctor was vice president material after meeting with him, Banayo said.
"He said 'Ano tingin mo? Puwedeng vice president ah.' Sabi ko actually ganun din ang feeling ko," he said.
"Isko and Doc Willie Ong are peas of the same pod."
Domagoso had assured Ong that they would "win this as a tandem," Banayo said.
"People want to vote for a tandem now, probably seeing the tragedy that happened in the last 5 years between President Duterte and Vice President Leni," he said.
"People want a team, a tandem. You just have to market them as a team, as people who will work together for the benefit of the greater number of people."
Banayo, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, said he quit his post as he cannot support a political dynasty in the national level.
"Kung ang paguusapan natin utang na loob, mea culpa. At my age, you look at the future, the future of our grandchildren. I cannot accept the principle na pwede ang local dynasty isu-superimpose mo sa national politics," he said.
(If we're talking about debt of gratitude, mea culpa. At my age, you look at the future, the future of our grandchildren. I cannot accept the principle that local dynasty can be superimposed on national politics.)
"In the same way I cannot possibly support a Bongbong Marcos because I fought the dictatorship in the dark days after Ninoy's death."