Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to run for presidential bid in the 2022 elections

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Manila Mayor Isko Moreno will run for president in the 2022 elections, according to his chief of staff Cesar Chavez, bringing the former actor into a race that already includes a boxer-turned-senator.

According to Chavez, Moreno will make an announcement on Wednesday via a “special broadcast” on various radio and television stations.

This brings the total number of confirmed presidential candidates for the May 2022 election to three. Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, an incumbent senator, declared his candidacy on Sunday, while Sen. Panfilo Lacson announced his candidacy earlier this month, with Senate President Vicente Sotto as his running mate. Lacson is a retired national police chief, and Sotto is a former actor.

Moreno, 46, was elected mayor of Manila in 2019, defeating former President Joseph Estrada, for whom he had previously served as vice mayor. Moreno had previously served on the city council. He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2016.

According to Manila public information chief Julius Leonen, Moreno will run for president alongside Dr. Willie Ong, a physician who is widely followed on social media for health advice. Moreno’s choice of running mate suggests that pandemic response will be central to his campaign.

Moreno was recently elected president of the Aksyon Demokratiko political party, fueling speculation that he will run for the nation’s highest office in next year’s elections.

After finishing second in polls about preferred presidential and vice presidential bets, the mayor is seen as a strong contender in the 2022 presidential race.

In 1998, the Commission on Elections recognized Aksyon Demokratiko as a political party (Comelec).

On September 11, a group in Pasig City urged Domagoso to run for president in the 2022 elections.