MANILA— Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday scorned the trending call #WithdrawIsko, saying it is his right to gun for the presidency next year.
The hashtag, which people used online to ask Domagoso to withdraw from the 2022 presidential race, trended on Twitter on October 7, shortly after Vice President Leni Robredo filed her certificate of candidacy as an independent candidate.
"Karapatan ko rin namang tumakbo di ba?" he said in a press conference after a mass oath taking of new Aksyon Demokratiko members.
(I have the right to run too, right?)
"Akala ko ba nagra-rally sila ng demokrasya? Bakit, 'yung demokrasya ba sila lang ang may-ari?" he said.
(I thought they were rallying behind democracy? Why? Does democracy belong only to them?)
Democracy is practiced by 100 million Filipinos, and not exclusive to a certain group, he said.
Domagoso said he is not trying to bicker with Robredo, who earlier said that unity talks between them bogged down because of the Manila Mayor's stance on the Marcos family.
"Ako walang friction sa kanila, sila ang gumagawa ng friction pero hindi ako magpapapatol diyan," he said.
(I don't have any friction with them, they are the ones creating friction, I won't take part in that.)
Domagoso called Robredo a "fake leader" for running as an independent candidate even if she is the chairperson of the Liberal Party.
The Manila Mayor also questioned the Vice President's decision to abandon the LP's signature yellow campaign color, and swapped it for pink, the new hue of her candidacy. Robredo, in a press conference earlier Friday, said pink was the color of activism.