“I will be a healing president.”
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso promised this as he officially announced his presidential bid in the 2022 national elections with cardiologist and social media personality Dr. Willie Ong as his running mate.
He symbolically made the announcement in the heart of Baseco in Tondo, Manila, his stronghold, on Wednesday (Sept. 22).
Domagoso said he did not mind that the capital city has become the “Pambansang Parmasiya” (Nation’s Pharmacy) as he reported on the strides made by his government to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we had was the vision to stockpile essential drugs and the virtue to give them to whoever needs them,” he said
“This has been our pandemic motto with our beloved Vice Mayor honey Lacuna. If the virus respects no political boundaries, then our compassion must not stop at the city boundaries. So what we had, we shared with them,” he added.
The City of Manila procured antiviral drugs Remdesivir and Tocilizumab which Domagoso made available to whoever needed them, whether they are from Manila, from adjoining cities in Metro Manila, and from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao..
Domagoso said his motivation to help others was borne out of the difficulties he encountered while living in the slums in Tondo.
“Opo, lumaki akong busabos ngunit hindi ako naging bastos,” he said. (Yes, I grew up poor but I was never vulgar or disrespectful.)
“Another lesson I learned in my early life — poverty must not take humanity out of you,” he added.
He also said that poor Filipinos should be given a “red carpet, not red tape.”
Criticized by President Duterte for wearing briefs and doing sexy poses when he was a young and struggling actor, Domagoso said: “What I know is that it is no crime to wear threadbare clothes. What is wrong is to praise an Emperor’s clothes when in fact he is wearing none,” he said.
According to Domagoso, being poor limits one’s access to education, health, and job opportunities which are “always open to other children who take them for granted.”
“Hindi lang pagkain ang kinakalkal mo. Namamalimos ka din ng respeto. Minamata ka. Ini-ismol ka. You cannot escape the profiling for life,” Domagoso said. (You don’t just scrape for food, you also beg for respect. They look down on you because you are a nobody to them.)
Domagoso said he will implement an “open governance policy” confident that this will lead to “better policies and improved services.”
“I will be a healing president. I will welcome criticisms. I do not run on promises. I run on prototypes,” he said.
“While I believe in the power of example, I also recognize the need for constant innovation. I may not give you a perfect government, but together, we can make it better,” he added.
Domagoso said he will announce in the coming days his platform of government.
“Yes, they are grand, but I assure you they are also granular. Many of them have been pilot tested in the city of Manila,” he said.
Domagoso also said that he would invite millennials to join him in government.
“Umasa kayo na kapag meron pong tao na pumalya o pumalpak, you’re fired immediately. Hindi ko po kukunsintihin o kakanlungin. Hindi ko po pagtatakpan ang katotohanan. The truth, not the trolls, shall set you free,” he stressed. (You can count on this — whenever a government official errs or commits corrupt practices, he will immediately be fired. I will not tolerate his wrongdoings, I will not coddle him. I will never cover up the truth.)
Reinforcing his statement that his governance will not be anchored on promises but on prototypes, Domagoso said that when he says he will build houses for the marginalized, “hindi yan drawing. Nakatayo na. (That is not just a drawing. The houses should already have been built.)
“Kapag sinabi kong ospital, hindi po yan pangako.” (If I say I will build hospitals, that is not just a promise. It will be a fulfillment of a promise.)
“If I say there will be ease in doing business sa mga negosyante (for business leaders), hindi po yan promissory note (that is not a promissory note),” Domagoso said.