MANILA Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Monday threw his support behind the senatorial candidacy of President Rodrigo Duterte and offered to adopt him as his party's fourth bet for the Senate.
"Kung dati, sinasabi kong tatlo lang ang senador ko kaya siyam na lang ang proproblemahin niyo, ngayon ang sasabihin ko, walo na lang ang pag-iisipan niyo dahil may pang-apat na akong kandidato, si Pangulong Duterte (If before I said I only have three senators that's why you have nine remaining bets, this time I'm going to tell you to just think of eight because I have my fourth candidate, President Duterte)," Domagoso said during his "listening tour" in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu.
"I will personally vote for President Duterte for senator. And I will be grateful, honored, and humbled to have somebody like the president in our slate as an additional candidate for senator. And I think he is very much capable of doing the job as a legislator," he added.
The Manila mayor justified this by pointing out Duterte's many accomplishments, foremost of which is the "Build, Build, Build" initiative that not only saw the construction and completion of bridges, highways, and other infrastructures but also generated thousands of jobs for Filipinos amid the pandemic.
He likewise praised the President's backing of the three-day "Bayanihan Bakunahan" which enlisted the services of vaccinators from cities like Manila that have already exceeded the target of 70 percent of its population.
"Let's give credit where credit is due. President Duterte has so many accomplishments. And I believe that he can be an effective senator since through legislation, he can ensure that his legacy will be institutionalized," Domagoso said.
He, however, clarified that Aksyon Demokratiko will not adopt bets who are also guest candidates of other parties.
Domagoso said he is extending the offer to Duterte following the decision of Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go to withdraw his presidential bid.
Go, however, has yet to go to the Commission on Elections to formalize the withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy.
"Ayoko namang pangunahan ang pangulo. Malaya naman siyang makapamili kung saan niya gustong sumama. Pero it is definitely an honor for me if the President will accept my invitation for him to be an adopted senatorial candidate of Aksyon Demokratiko (I don't want to preempt the President. He is free to choose where he wants to go. But it would definitely be an honor for me if he will accept my invitation for him to be an adopted senatorial candidate of Aksyon Demokratiko)," Domagoso said.
The party has three bets for the Senate — civic leader Samira Gutoc, registered nurse and entrepreneur Carl Balita, and former Quezon City councilor and National Housing Authority general manager Jopet Sison.