Doc Willie Ong files certificate of candidacy, joins 2022 VP race

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2021 11:44 AM | Updated as of Oct 04 2021 02:34 PM

Doc Willie Ong files his certificate of candidacy for vice president for the 2022 national election at the Harbor Garden tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 4, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Doc Willie Ong files his certificate of candidacy for vice president for the 2022 national election at the Harbor Garden tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 4, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Cardiologist Willie Ong on Monday filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president as running-mate of Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso in the 2022 national elections.

Ong arrived at the filing venue in Pasay City with Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso, who also filed his COC to officially join the presidential race.

Domagoso earlier belied claims that Ong was only a decoy candidate who would later on be replaced by Sen. Grace Poe, the Manila Mayor’s alleged true runningmate.

“Hindi ko papalitan si Doc Willie. Solve na ako dito," he earlier said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart."

(I won’t change Doc Willie. I’m satisfied with him.)

"Ayoko ng tsutsubibo na buhay. Diyan nga tayo nagkaloko-loko, paflipflop-flipflop, pabago-bago . . . We need some decisiveness,” he said.

(I don’t want to live like a ferris wheel. That’s how we fail, when we keep on flip-flopping, changing our minds… We need some decisiveness.)

Ong is the “perfect” vice president as the Philippines continues to battle COVID-19, Domagoso said, noting that Manila’s pandemic response was effective thanks to his vice mayor Honey Lacuna, who is also a doctor.

Picking Ong as a partner for the 2022 national elections is a “stroke of genius,” said Tony La Viña, former dean of the Manila-based Ateneo School of Government.

"Parang perfect choice for the pandemic. Doktor ka. He's a serious doctor. Parang Dr. (Juan) Flavier siya, 'yung ganoong klase na doktor. For sure 'yan, ang advantage niyan, nandoon kay Isko at Ong,” he said in an earlier interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

(He's like the perfect choice for the pandemic. He's a doctor, he's a serious doctor, like Dr. Flavier, that kind of doctor. I'm sure Isko and Dr. Ong has the advantage.)

Ong is a social media star himself with some 16 million followers on Facebook, and another 16,000 on Twitter.

In the 2019 senatorial elections, the cardiologist - known for answering health-related questions on social media - landed on the 17th spot, a feat for a neophyte candidate who does not have political background.

Ong earlier said he would not accept any campaign donations, and would just rely on Domagoso’s machinery to help boost his vice presidential bid.

Before joining the Manila Mayor’s 2021 ticket, Ong served as the vice president for health services of Lakas-CMD. 

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