Isko's running mate, Willie Ong, resigns from Lakas-NUCD

Published September 23, 2021, 8:12 PM

by Ben Rosario

Dr. Willie T. Ong tendered his resignation as member of Lakas-NUCD to join following his acceptance of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s offer to run as vice president of Aksyon Demokratiko, a political party founded by the late Sen. Raul Roco.

Isko Moreno -Willie Ong

Ong, a popular public health blogger, sent his resignation letter on Wednesday, the day he and Moreno publicly declared their decision to run as a tandem in the 2022 presidential polls.

“With all due respect, and after having accepted the offer of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to be his vice presidential runningmate in the forthcoming elections, I hereby tender my resignation as a member of Lakas-CMD,” Ong wrote.

“I take this opportunity to thank the party and you in particular, for having graciously accepted me into the party int he 2019 elections, and gave me a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance at that time,” he stated.

He added: “Though politics may bring us at different paths, please know that I continue to hold you in high esteem and my family will always treasure your friendship.” Ong will be leaving his party post at Lakas-NUCD as vice president for health services.

Ong, who lost in the 2019 senatorial race, will be running against formidable opponents in 2022. Among them are President Rodrigo Duterte of PDP-Laban and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.

The medical practitioner will be relying on a huge social media following of over 16 million people.

His popularity has been compared to that of the late Sen. Juan Flavier, who was widely admired by the Filipino masses during his stint as health secretary.

Both Moreno and Ong used to belong to political parties that have been waiting for the formalization of alliance with the Hugpong ng Pagbabago under Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Moreno resigned from the National Unity Party a few months ago, then signaling his plan to seek a higher office.

Mayor Duterte has declared she will no longer run for president and will continue as chief executive of Davao City.

However, political pundits are not convinced. Neither are Mayor Duterte’s supporters.