Hard-core Boholano supporters of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso came out in force Wednesday evening to show their support to the Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer during a grand concert-rally at the Old Tagbilaran City Airport.
The crowd, which was estimated to reach more than 40,000 at its peak and composed mostly of youth supporters and ordinary people, packed the venue despite the absence of famous local artists and personalities just to hear the young and charismatic Moreno, who is from their own ranks.
The 47-year-old presidential aspirant acknowledged the resilience of Boholanons who, like him, triumphed through all the hardships that fate had thrown their way.
“Bilib na bilib ako sa inyo. Congratulations Bohol. Kayo, giniba ng lindol, natumba, tumayo. Kayo, pinadapa ng bagyo, natumba tumayo. Ngayon, ang lahat ng kabataan ng Bohol nakatayo. Ganiyan kagaling ang mga Boholano,” Moreno said to wild cheering from the fired-up crowd.
“Basta kayong lahat, anuman ang hirap na dinaranas ninyo, huwag kayong susuko. Nakikita niyo ba ako? Itong batang kaharap ninyo, dating basurero, dating sidecar boy. Sinong mag-aakala na isa sa inyo, pwedeng maging mayor din ng Maynila, puwede pang maging presidente ng bansa,” said Moreno.
The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet said it is in this light that he continues to fight for the presidency – to fight for a better future for ordinary Filipino families and its youth.
“Kayo lang ang pinaglalaban ko. Sa inyo lang ako humuhugot ng lakas ng loob kasi hindi kayo sumusuko. Kaya ang laban na ito ay laban ninyo. Laban ng ordinaryong pamilyang Pilipino ang laban na ito,” he said.
Moreno urged the people anew, especially the youth, not to be blindsided by the fight for power among the two warring elitist political factions who have lorded over the country for several decades only to leave the ordinary mortals in the losing end.
Moreno pointed out that the real fight is against poverty, hunger, inequality, social injustice – the same issues that he vowed to focus on, and act upon quickly, if given the chance.
“Gusto niyo ba ng murang bilihin, murang koryente, mabilis na internet, trabaho, bahay, eskwelahan, ospital? Yon ang gobyernong alay ko. Diretso sa tao para sa kinabukasan ng kabataan ng ating bansa,” he said.
Moreno added that people should not believe critics who say that he is still young to become a president, pointing to the late President Ramon Magsaysay who was just 46 years old when he became president and guided the country to its “real golden era.”
“Sabi nila bata pa ako para maging presidente. Bakit ang gusto niyo ba 80 anyos? Ang gusto niyo ba ang presidente niyo kayo ang umaakay, o yung presidente ang umaakay sa inyo?” he said.
“Simple lang ang usapan dito – ang kinabukasan ninyo at pino-problema ng nanay at tatay ninyo. Gusto niyo bang magkaroon ng isang batang presidente? Humaharap ako sa inyo, nag-aalay ng simpleng gobyerno,” Moreno said.
If elected president, Moreno has vowed to pursue a “Life and Livelihood” economic policy that aims to address poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality and social injustice through though the effective, efficient and prudent management of government resources under an open, transparent and inclusive administration, as spelled out under his 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda.
Besides providing the minimum basic needs of the people – quality housing, education and health care, and creating jobs and livelihood opportunities – Moreno also vowed an accelerated infrastructure program that will be focused in areas or provinces with low human development index (HDI), particularly in Mindanao and the Visayas, to bring about a more inclusive economic growth.
But these will not all come to fruition if any one of the warring political groups will have their way in the upcoming elections, he said.
“Kaya sa lahat na nandidito, Samahan niyo kami sa May 9. Tapusin na natin ang away ng pula at dilaw. Tayong mga kabataan ang magtatapos ng away ng malalaking pulitiko. Huwag niyong kakalimutan ang kakayanan ng kabataan sa Mayo a-nuebe. Tayo, tayong mga kabataan ang guguhit ng ating tadhana,” he said.
“At sa inyong lahat, manalig kayo, huwag kayong susuko. May awa ang Diyos, makakaraos tayo. Mananalo tayo,” said Moreno to loud cheers.
Boholanons have a soft heart Moreno.as the Manila Mayor was the first government official outside Bohol who came to their aid when the province was hit by Typhoon Odette last December 6 that left severely damaged homes, buildings, establishments and government facilities and infrastructure, as well as communication facilities and power lines, all over the province.
As soon as the airport was cleared of debris, Mayor Isko flew to Bohol on December 20 to personally hand over an initial P1 million in financial assistance, four generator sets and food boxes for typhoon victims in the island province. His wife Dynee followed soon after, making several trips to the province to bring additional assistance donated by the people of Manila to several affected towns.
Moreno’s kindness and true heart for people in need was not lost to Bohol Governor Arthur Yap who warmly welcomed the future “president” upon arriving in Tagbilaran City earlier in the morning.
“Mr. President, magandang umaga po. On behalf of the province of Bohol, taos puso po namin kayong tinatanggap sa kapitolyo. On behalf of the people of Bohol dagha pong salamat sir. Hindi mo kami nakalimutan in the times sa panahon ng bagyong Odette. Nandito kayo within a few days. Hindi ko po makakalimutan nagdala po kayo ng ayuda, nagdala po kayo ng generators, nagdala po kayo ng financial na tabang,” Yap solemnly told Moreno after the Manila mayor paid him a courtesy call before embarking in a series of campaign sorites in the province.
Moreno also paid courtesy calls to Catigbian Mayor Elizabeth Mandin who unabashedly asked Moreno to autograph two pairs of Moreno’s trademark sneakers, the Adidas Superstar; Carmen Mayor Ricardo Francisco Toribio and Calape Mayor Nelson Yu.
Team Isko also engaged Boholanons in several town hall meetings along the way where thousands of “real supporters” packed the venues to show their gratitude and full support for the young and charismatic presidential candidate.