MANILA - Aksyon Demokratiko will be fielding at least 600 national and local candidates in the 2022 elections after membership of the once-small party recently grew by "300 percent", its top official said Sunday.
Aksyon Demokratiko has issued "easily more than 500-600" Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA), a requirement for candidates running under a political party, for the upcoming polls, Aksyon chairman Ernest Ramel Jr. told ABS-CBN News.
"We have a lot of CONAs (Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance) issued to Visayas candidates and candidates from Mindanao," he said.
"However, the problem is they cannot go here for the physical oath taking. What we're looking at is a possibility of traveling to their areas and do the oath right there. That is just a possibility right now," he said.
As of September 27, about 50 government officials from different parts of Luzon took oath before party president and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso as the political party continues to consolidate local support days before the filing of candidacies for the 2022 national elections.
Most of these new members are incumbent officials from Luzon who are seeking to challenge administration-backed candidates in their respective bailiwicks.
"There will be more officials who are joining whether they are part of the party officially or not," he said.
In 2016, Aksyon Demokratiko only had 400 members nationwide and "that number was further reduced before the 2019 midterm elections", Ramel said.
Aksyon Demokratiko began getting inquiries about membership again after Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto - the party's executive vice president - won the mayoralty race, and ended the decades-long reign of the Eusebio dynasty, he said.
"I think at the start, there were people who were joining, the younger ones, because of Mayor Vico, but when Mayor Isko came in, ang daming nagpapahayag na gusto namin sumali then eventually when we elected him president and eventually when he declared, there were more," he said.
(I think at the start, there were people who were joining, the younger ones, because of Mayor Vico, but when Mayor Isko came in, there were a lot of people who expressed interest in joining and eventually there were more after we elected him as party president and after he declared his plan to run for chief executive.)
"The days after he declared [his intention to run for president], talagang bumuhos. We think there will be more [new memberships] even after we issue the CONAs," he said.
(The days after he declared his intention to run for president, the inquiries really poured in. We think there will be more new memberships even after we issue the CONAs.)
Among the recent additions to Aksyon Demokratiko are former Lakas-CMD official Dr. Willie Ong, who will run for vice president under Domagoso's ticket, former Liberal Party member Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, and former Otso Diretso candidate Samira Gutoc.
Former Pasig Rep. Robert "Dodot" Jaworski Jr. is expected to join Aksyon Demokratiko before he files his certificate of candidacy for Pasig vice mayor under Sotto's line up.
Aksyon Demokratiko is also expected to nominate at least 2 members to run for senator in during its national assembly.