MANILA - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday confirmed that his senatorial ticket for the 2022 elections only has 3 candidates so far because he does not believe in the practice of having guest candidates.
Guest candidates are contenders who are usually included in more than one party slate.
"Ayoko na niloloko natin ang tao. Saan ka naman nakakita, kandidato ka nito, kandidato ka nito, kandidato ka nito?" Domagoso told ANC's Headstart.
(I don't want to fool the people. Where have you seen candidates running under several parties?)
"Binababoy natin 'yung political system natin. Gahasang-gahasa," he said.
(We are disrespecting our political system. We're raping it.)
Senatorial candidates who wish to join Aksyon Demokratiko's 2022 Senate line-up "have to state that they believe in," the party standard bearer said.
"I would rather have few pero alam ko ang presidente nila ako. They believe in us, in our group," he said.
"I'll try to be reasonable to them... that I can run their country with their help," he said.
The Manila Mayor also questioned the "moral ascendancy" of presidential aspirants and political parties who entertain guest candidates who once slammed other personalities within the group.
"What kind of moral ascendancy do you have?" he asked.
"We can circumvent whatever provision of law that are available? Masyado silang matalino, yung sobrang talino nila nagamit na nila para sa sarili nila," he said.
(They are too smart, and they used their intellect for their own agenda.)
So far, presidential aspirants Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao have included guest candidates in their initial Senate slate.
Aksyon Demokratiko has 3 senatorial hopefuls: Educator-entrepreneur Carl Balita, Moro civic leader Samira Gutoc, and legal TV show host Jopet Sison.
Sison replaced veteran broadcaster Noli de Castro who withdrew his senatorial bid due to undisclosed personal reasons.
"Kung sasama kayo sa amin, dahil naniniwala kayo sa amin. Hindi dahil gusto lang nilang manalo," Domagoso said.
(If you will join us, it should not be only because you want to win.)
"I'll invite popular candidates. I'll invite everybody... but they have to join, they have to state that they believe in me."
"It has to be clear what you believe."
In earlier interviews, Domagoso said he expects other senatorial candidates to join his team when the official campaign period starts next year, but added that he prefers the bets to make the announcement themselves.
"Ayoko sila pangunahan. Gusto ko sa kanila manggaling."
(I don't want to get ahead of them. I want them to say it themselves.)
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer shrugged off comments that this strategy might put him at a disadvantage in the upcoming national elections.
"Sanay ako na kalaban ang mga political elite," said the Manila Mayor, who previously had rifts with his predecessors in the capital city, including former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada.
(I am used to fighting against political elites.)