The camp of Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Saturday said it is only natural for the presidential candidate to hope for President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement since he has always been openly seeking support from everyone.
“Actually, for Isko Moreno, no matter who helped him, he openly asked for everyone’s help. Even when he speaks in big crowds, he keeps asking people to help him because he needs help,” political strategist and Team Isko campaign chief Lito Banayo said in an interview.
“And so, if you are asking people for votes, who are you to deny asking the President himself if he wants to endorse you, in the absence of Bong Go?”
Banayo explained that seeking for President Duterte’s endorsement does not make Domagoso an administration candidate or a Duterte Lite candidate, especially with the looming withdrawal of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
Go announced Tuesday he is quitting the presidential race but has not yet officially withdrawn his certificate of candidacy before the Commission on Elections.
“In the first place, when Isko Moreno declared that he would run for president, he never categorized himself as part of the opposition nor the administration. He was running basically as a candidate who wants to help the people and present his platform to the people, his policies, advocacies,” Banayo said.
“Since the beginning they kept on saying that (Duterte Lite), but it’s been proven by events that Isko Moreno was never the administration candidate, without of course foreclosing the fact that now, President Duterte has suddenly lost the candidate,” he added.
Banayo said several PDP-Laban leaders have already been sending feelers to Moreno’s camp.
“I have to be honest in admitting that many PDP-Llaban leaders and stalwarts are calling and saying that they are going to switch to us, to mayor Isko Moreno, since their favored candidate is now out in the running,” Banayo said.
“It’s natural, it will happen. I’m sure the other candidates also told Senator (Panfilo) Lacson, Senator (Manny) Pacquiao. You never can tell. And there is always the possibility that Duterte might even decide not to endorse anyone for president,” he added.