UPDATED AT 7:31 p.m.
THE political party Aksyon Demokratiko has elected Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso as its president.
Domagoso became a member of the party last August 5, but was not able to take his oath to prioritize handling the crowding in some of Manila’s vaccination sites on the same day.
In a statement, Aksyon Demokratiko said that Domagoso was elected as president on Tuesday night in a general membership meeting.
Former Secretary General and now newly elected Chairman Ernest Ramel said that Domagoso and the Aksyon Demokratiko had a “meeting of minds and heart in many aspects” including the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response, prioritization of education, housing and health care.
“We saw in Yorme someone with a clean track record, tangible accomplishments, and a vision that the party shares. We are confident that he will be able to help lead the party in its thrust to be a unifying force in an atmosphere of heavy political polarization,” said Ramel in a statement.
Meanwhile, Domagoso said that he was honored to be elected as the president of the party that genuinely cares for the people.
“Isa pong karangalan na maging kasapi at mahalal na pangulo sa isang progresibong partido na may tunay na malasakit para sa ating mga kababayan (It is an honor to be a part and to be elected as the president of a progressive party that has a genuine concern for our countrymen),” Domagoso said.
As of posting time, Domagoso and his camp have yet to comment on his plans to run for a higher post in the 2022 elections.
But in a phone interview with The Manila Times, Ramel said that the local chief executive told them that there would be a right time to talk about politics, and that he is currently focused on his responsibility as mayor, and the city’s response against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Tingin din namin mga Setyembre siguro–mga kalagitnaan, siguro pwede na pag-usapan tingnan, at baka magkaroon na ng desisyon [sa] mga panahon na ‘yon (We think that maybe by mid-September we would be able to talk about it, and maybe come up with a decision by then),” Ramel said.
He said that their lines were open for other senatorial and presidential candidates.
He disclosed that the party spoke with Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo in March, and recently, with Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.
The Aksyon Demokratiko will announce its list of candidates by the third or last week of September.
The party was founded by the late Senator Raul Roco in 1997. In the 2010 Presidential elections, Aksyon Demokratiko had a coalition with the Liberal Party and supported the late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd.
In 2016, the party backed Sen. Grace Poe who ran for president, and then Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, together with two official senatorial candidates– current Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid and lawyer Lorna Kapunan.
In 2019, the party’s official candidate was former solicitor general Florin “Pilo Hilbay and backed the Otso Diretso candidates, together with Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid.
The Aksyon Demokratiko wants to be a “unifying force” in next year’s election to end the divide between the nation’s people.
“Ang gusto namin sana, katulad ng gusto ng ating Bise Presidente na magkaisa-isa ‘no (we also hope for everyone to be united, just like what our Vice President says),” said Ramel.
“Ang aming posisyon ngayon eh kasi ‘yung girian, awayan… marami kasing naiipit at nagsasawa diyan, and dahil diyan din nagkakahati-hati ang bayan natin, nagkagulo-gulo (Our current position is that since all the fighting and quarreling have affected a lot of people–has divided and caused disarray with our countrymen) we want to unify the country, and unify the people,” he added.
Among the principles of Aksyon Demokratiko are prioritizing the welfare of the people, upholding the rule of law, giving focus to education, job generation, health, and housing.