SANTA Fe, Nueva Vizcaya – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said on Saturday he will focus on the protection of life and promotion of livelihood if he becomes president in 2022.
“Buhay at kabuhayan, iyan ang pangako namin sa inyong lahat,” Moreno told a town hall meeting here organized by local officials led by Santa Fe Mayor Tidong Benito and former mayor Teodorico Padilla Jr.
Moreno said this is the reason why he chose Dr. Willie Ong as his running mate because he believes that Doc Willie as vice president can focus on the health aspect while he, as president, can concentrate on the economy.
“Mahalaga ngayon ang buhay at kabuhayan. Kaya kinuha kong running mate ay isang duktor. Si Dr. Willie Ong na duktor ng bayan. Duktor na may malasakit sa buong bansa,” said Moreno, president and standard bearer of Aksyon Demokratiko.
Moreno vowed to the people of Nueva Vizcaya that if elected, he would institute short term and long-term solutions aimed at improving the lives of all Filipinos.
These include cutting taxes of oil products and electricity by 50 percent; building more hospitals, school buildings, and mass housing for the poor; and stimulating medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to generate more jobs, among others.
Among the more than a thousand people estimated attendees the gathering included local officials from the province’s 15 municipalities, religious leaders from various sects, leaders of other indigenous people groups in the province, various groups from the nearby provinces of Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Isabela and Ifugao, and even rebel returnees.
Representatives of the Isko Northern Alliance (INA) headed by Cicero Lumauig of Baguio and Benguet also attended the gathering.
Padilla, a nephew of Nueva Vizcaya Gov. Carlos Padilla Jr., said the gathering of people from various sectors of society in Nueva Vizcaya and outlying provinces signifies the beginning of mass support for Moreno in Northern Luzon.
“Dito po sa Santa Fe magsisimula ang Isko Moreno Solid North. Ginagawa natin ito dahil kami po ay naniniwala kay Isko Moreno. Sabi nga po nila, salita lang ni Isko Moreno ay pwede ng isanla. Mamaya po ,isanla na natin para si Isko Moreno susunod na president ng Republika ng Pilipinas,” Padilla told the gathering.
The Nueva Vizcaya leader also said that a Moreno presidency would mean that the Nueva Ecija tribes would have a “big brother” in Malacaňang who will protect their rights and look after their welfare.
“Kapag si Isko Moreno ang naging pangulo, kayong mga tribu sa Nueva Vizcaya, sa Santa Fe – sigurado kapatid niya ang mga ito – hindi niya kayo pababayaan,” Padilla said.
Upon the arrival of Team Isko at the venue, the Kalanguya people performed a ritual to adopt Moreno as a “son” of the tribe, making him as their brother.
The ritual was led by Mayor Benito and the Council of Elders of the Kalanguyas, the majority tribe in the province composing 12 percent of the province’s population.
After the ritual, Padilla explained that the ritual signified the warm welcome and hospitality of the Kalanguya and people Santa Fe.
It also asked for blessings from the Supreme Being so that Moreno’s political journey would succeed, his leadership to proceed smoothly and would be beneficial to everyone.
The ritual was highlighted by the slaughter of a pig, with its blood placed in the forehead of Moreno using the knife used to kill it.
The squealing of the pig was meant to drive away bad spirits, while the blood in the forehead represents protection from above.
Because he is now the adopted son of the Kalanguya and also of Santa Fe, Padilla said the Kalanguya people are now oath-bound to protect and help Moreno in his quest towards Malacaňang – including campaigning for him.
“Tandaan ninyo, October 30, 2021, ipinanganak ang Isko Moreno sa bayang ito. Ang mga Kalanguya ay meron na pong pananagutan, dadalhin ang pangalang Isko Moreno papunta sa Malakanyang. Hindi lang po ang mga Kalanguya, sapagkat andito rin po ang po ang ibat-ibang tribu sa Nueva Vizcaya,” Padilla vowed to Moreno.
“Subalit hindi lang po ang tribu ng Kalanghuya ang sasama sa iyong paglalakbay, sasama na rin po ang buong lalawigan ng Nueva Vizcaya dahil naririto ang 15 bayan ng lalawigan,” he said.