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SUPPORT FOR ISKO NOW GATHERING STRENGTH

From Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, support is snowballing for the presidential candidacy of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, as various groups around the country over the weekend pledged to campaign for the poor boy from Tondo responsible for the remarkable turnaround of the city of Manila.

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer on Friday secured the endorsement of top Dagupan officials, as well as the support of Visayas-based groups that launched the Visayas for Isko-Sara Alliance (VISA) on the same day. The following day, the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC)––one of the earliest supporters of the presidential campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte––presented a manifesto of support to Moreno. On Sunday, the 47-year-old mayor kicked off a Mindanao tour in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), where he was welcomed by massive crowds in Buluan, Maguindanao.

On Sunday, the 47-year-old mayor kicked off a Mindanao tour in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), where he was welcomed by massive crowds in Buluan, Maguindanao.

Accompanied by Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte- National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) president and former Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, Moreno attended the mass oathtaking of the members of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), a local political party affiliated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Key allies in the UBJP included incumbent Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and former Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu. Several political leaders of the party have also made an alliance with the MRRD-NECC to massively campaign all over BARMM in support of the dynamic mayor’s presidential bid. Present at the oathtaking were MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim, who is currently serving as the first and interim Chief Minister of the BARMM; the members of his Cabinet; the officials of the Bangsamoro parliament; and former MILF rebels.

Moreno assured the former Moro rebels that he would champion equal rights and opportunities for everyone regardless of religion, social class, and political beliefs.

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May be an image of one or more people, people standing and outdoors
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“Sisiguraduhin ko, kung sakali na tayo ay papalarin, na iyong mga pangarap ninyo na makapag-aral ang inyong mga anak, mga apo, ay matutuppad. Magkakaroon ng modernong ospital na mapupuntahan, may sariling bahay at lupa na masasabi nilang kanila na pwede nilang pagyamanin, lahat yan pagsisikapan natin. At higit sa lahat, pinapangako ko na ipararamdam ko sa inyo ang pagkakapantay-pantay ng tao,” said the Manila mayor.

The day before, Castriciones hailed Moreno as “the most qualified candidate that should be supported by the MRRD-NECC and therefore should be endorsed to be the next president of the Republic of the Philippines.”

These sentiments were echoed by former Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez on Friday, who in Filipino told a large crowd in Dagupan that Moreno, “serves as an inspiration to public servants in our country, and is the leader that the Philippines and the Filipino people need.”

Dagupan is the second-largest city in Pangasinan, which is the third most vote-rich province in the country, with just over two million voters.

The day before, Castriciones hailed Moreno as “the most qualified candidate that should be supported by the MRRD-NECC and therefore should be endorsed to be the next president of the Republic of the Philippines.”

Lawyer Jose Daluz, president of Partido Panaghiusa, one of the groups that formed VISA, said their groups chose Moreno because of his track record in Manila and his Visayan roots.

Among the other groups that form VISA are SIMBA, Partido Pananghiusa, Inisyatiba Makabayang Pagbabago, Isulong Serbisyo sa Katawhan nga Organisado (ISKO) Alang Isko, Ikaw Muna Pilipinas, Ordinaryong Lungsoranon, Task Force Crusaders, Duterte Riders Team, F4, Samar Group for Isko, CIGOTON, Isko Na Bai, Blue Ladies for Isko, and Women for Isko.

ISKO convenor Edward Ligas, said they are confident that Moreno’s ranking in surveys will go up as the campaign period progresses.

Ligas pointed out that “the survey was conducted before these presidential debates and Isko had yet to personally campaign at the time. So in the coming days, the trend will change in favor of Isko.”

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