Manila City mayor officially joins Philippine presidential race

Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso (right), known by his screen name Isko Moreno, and his running mate for vice president Willie Ong (left) pose for the media after filing his candidacy for the country's 2022 presidential race, at Sofitel Hotel in Manila on Oct 4, 2021.

MANILA – Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso on Monday filed his certificate of candidacy to run for the next president of the Philippines in the May 2022 elections.

Domagoso, 46, popularly known by his celebrity nickname Isko Moreno, filed with his running-mate Willie Ong their certificates of candidacy at the Commission on Elections.

The mayor of the Philippine capital will run under the political party Aksyon Demokratiko, of which he is the president.

Domagoso appealed to the Filipinos to support his quest to serve them.

Let's heal our country, and together, there will be a better future for each of us. With your help, we can do it, Philippines.

Francisco Domagoso,

 Manila mayor

"Let's heal our country, and together, there will be a better future for each of us. With your help, we can do it, Philippines," he said during the flag-raising ceremony at Manila City Hall before going to the poll body.

"Today, we'll be part of history, and I hope it's destiny," he added.

READ MORE: Manila mayor announces bid to run for Philippine president

Domagoso, along with his running mate, also visited Tondo, a poor district in Manila City where he was raised by his stevedore father and his mother who made a living by doing laundry and peeling garlic.

Domagoso, who grew up in Manila's slums, appeared in movies when he was a teenager before using his popularity to enter politics. His political career began in 1998, when he was elected Manila councilor at 23. After serving three terms as councilor, he was elected vice mayor in 2007. Domagoso was elected Manila mayor in 2019 after defeating former President Joseph Estrada.

Domagoso has reaped praises for his efforts to clean up and decongesting the city streets since he assumed office.

Ong, Domagoso's running mate, is well known for giving medical advice through social media. The Chinese Filipino doctor has more than 16 million followers on Facebook. He also served as a consultant of the Department of Health under former administration.

According to a recent survey published by Pulse Asia, 13 percent of the Filipino respondents expressed support for Domagoso as a "probable" presidential candidate.

Candidates for the 2022 elections could file their certificate of candidacy from Oct 1 to 8. Philippine boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao filed on the first day his certificate of candidacy for president, becoming the first presidential aspirant to do so.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced last Saturday that he will not run for vice president in the coming elections and will retire from politics "in obedience to the will of the people." Duterte's former longtime aide and senator Christopher Go filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president.

The elections are scheduled to be held on May 9, 2022. According to the Philippine law, the vice president is elected separately from the president. The vice president takes over the presidency if the president passes away or is incapacitated in office.