MANILA - At least 23 officials from various provinces in Luzon joined Aksyon Demokratiko on Thursday, a day after party president and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso confirmed that he will be the group's standard bearer for the 2022 national elections.
Of the new Aksyon members, 6 came from the Nacionalista Party, 5 from PDP-Laban, 3 are independent politicians, 2 are from the National Unity Party, and 1 each from Lakas-CMD, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Nationalist People's Coalition, and the Liberal Party. Two others are from the Sangguniang Kabataan.
"Ang galing. Ang dami ninyo agad. Na-shock po ako eh. I am overwhelmed. Halos representasyon na ito ng buong Luzon agad. I am humbled and honored," Domagoso said.
(It's amazing. There are many of you in such a short time. I'm shocked. I am overwhelmed. You are representing almost the entire Luzon. I am humbled and honored.)
The following local government leaders took their oath before Domagoso at the Manila City Hall:
- Marinduque Vice Governor Romulo Bacorro Jr.
- Romblon Vice Governor Felix Ylagan
- Quezon Province Vice Governor Sam Nantes
- Betty Nantes (candidate for vice governor in Quezon
- Marinduque Board Member John Pelaez
- Laguna Board member Rai Ann San Luis
- Laguna Board member Magtanggol Jose Carait
- Marinduque Board member Gilbert Daquioag
- Zambales Board member Keith Doble
- Santa Maria, Laguna Mayor Ma. Rocelle Carolino
- Santa Cruz, Laguna Mayor Edgar San Luis
- Concepcion, Tarlac Vice Mayor Joey Baluyut
- Nagcarlan, Laguna Vice Mayor Rexlon Arevalo
- Magdalena, Laguna Vice Mayor Pedro Bucal
- Pakil, Laguna Vice Mayor Charles Vipops Martines
- Mabitac, Laguna Vice Mayor Angelito Valderrama
- Majayjay, Laguna Vice Mayor Juan Ariel Argañosa Jr.
- San Jose, Batangas Vice Mayor Noel Virtusio
- Calamba City Vice Mayor Ross Rizal
- Oas, Albay Vice Mayor Reene Riofrio Raro
- Angat, Bulacan Vice Mayor Reynante Bautista
- Malabon City Councilor Jasper Kevin Cruz
- Malabon City Councilor Jap Garcia
"Ito po yung mga susunod na mga gobernador at mga mayor sa kanilang mga bayan," said Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel Jr., hinting that opposition candidates in local levels are already forming a power bloc under Domagoso.
(These are the next governors and mayors in their respective localities.)
"Sabi nila ang partidong ito ay parang pedicab lamang (They say our party is just like a pedicab)... pero yung history has indicated otherwise. Since 1992, this small party has defeated Goliath machineries," he said.
While Aksyon Demokratiko may be a "pedicab" compared to bigger and older political groups, Domagoso said that its members have nothing to worry about.
"Sabi ng aming chairman, kami po ay sidecar candidate. Wag po kayong mag-alala, specialty ko po magmaneho ng sidecars. Hindi ko po ilulubak," Domagoso, a former sidecar driver, said in jest.
(Our chairman said that we are like sidecar candidates. Don't worry, it's my specialty to drive sidecars. I will not drive it through rough roads.)
"Puro giant killer dito… Tingnan ninyo sa Manila at sa Pasig. Naniniwala ako na walang grabang nakakapuwing puro buhangin lang," he said.
(We have a lot of giant killers here... Just look at Manila and Pasig. I believe that gravel cannot hurt your eye, only small particles can do that.)
In 2019, Domagoso and Aksyon executive vice president and Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto defeated two juggernauts in local politics.
Domagoso won against former President and former Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, while Sotto ended the decades-long rule of the Eusebio dynasty in Pasig City.
Domagoso said they are expecting more politicians to join their party in the coming weeks.