MANILA—Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday denied that Sen. Grace Poe would eventually file substitution documents to be his vice-presidential candidate in the 2022 national elections.
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer shot down insinuations that he chose Dr. Willie Ong, who declared his vice-presidential bid alongside Domagoso in Tondo, to become some decoy candidate.
"Hindi ko papalitan si Doc Willie. Solve na ako dito," he said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart."
"Ayoko ng tsutsubibo na buhay. Diyan nga tayo nagkaloko-loko
paflipflop-flipflop, pabago-bago . . . We need some decisiveness.
"'Yung tatakbo, hindi tatakbo tapos magswi-switching, walang ganun. Nabili na yun e. We're not going to do the same."
In 2015, then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte substituted for Martin Diño for PDP-Laban president despite earlier saying that he does not plan to vie for the presidency.
When pressed for details on alleged talks about Poe's possible substitution, Domagoso said: "Wala naman. As far as I know."
Domagoso earlier said that he has been close to the Poe family since the time of late action star Fernando Poe Jr.
"I have been with FPJ from the start to finish. I have been with Sen. Poe from start to finish. Yan ang relasyon natin sa mga Poe," he said in an earlier chance interview.
His campaign manager earlier confirmed that Poe was their first choice for Domagoso's runningmate, but the senator declined the offer as another family friend — Senate President Vicente Sotto III — is running for vice president under another ticket.
Domagoso said ending up with Ong is a "blessing in disguise."
"It's almost the same formula in Manila," he said.
"Kaya ako nakagalaw [during the COVID-19 pandemic]... because I tasked Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna who is a doctor... nagkaroon ako ng extra active helpful hand," he said.
While he is already decided with running alongside the popular cardiologist, Domagoso said they are still in talks with other parties for possible coalitions.
"I will continue to speak to a lot of people, that includes the Vice President... that also includes some administration people," he said.
"Ang unity walang pinipiling grupo. Anybody who wants to join for reconciliation, hindi naman yan naka kurdon," he said.