WITH less than two weeks to go before the May 9 elections, Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso continues to show unflinching determination in his pursuit of giving the ordinary people the government that they truly deserve, saying the elections are not over till all the votes, especially those from the “silent majority”, have been counted.
“Sabi nga ni Martin Luther King [MLK] ‘if you cannot fly, run, if you cannot run, walk, if you cannot walk, crawl.’ Gagapang tayo talaga, kasi I really wanted to reach as many people as possible as our commitment. Dire-diretso lang sa tao,” Moreno told reporters Tuesday in Kalibo, Aklan, after paying a courtesy call to Governor Florencio Miraflores.
“We will continue to seek, hanapin natin ang tulong ng taong bayan… at hindi tayo titigil hanggat ina-allow ng batas na makaikot tayo. Mahirap, pero susuyurin ko, gagapangin ko. Kulang gumapang kami sa aspalto, sa semento, sa bukid, maabot lang ang tao, mapakinggan lang kami, mabigyan kami ng pagkakataong makita sila,” said Moreno.
MLK’s actual quote reads, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
And resolutely moving forward with a concrete plan, purpose, and vision is what the 47-year-old presidential aspirant is all about in his 24 years of public service despite the many stumbling blocks that detractors have thrown his way and the same resolve he has now to serve the ordinary Filipinos if given a chance.
“It’s a painstaking process, physically challenging but, balewala ‘yung challenges na ‘yun kesa sa challenges na kinakaharap ng tao at kakaharapin ng tao, ang mahal na bilihin, mahal na kuryente, mahal na krudo, walang kasiguruhan sa pamamahay, kapag nagkakasakit may panganib. Trabaho, higit sa lahat. These are the things important to our people, and these, I’m going to address,” Moreno explained.
“If you want peace of mind, anyway kilala niyo naman akong magtrabaho sa gobyerno, at alam niyo na rin ang layunin ko sa gobyerno – minimum basic needs – kami ni Doc Willie itatawid namin kayo sa pandemiyang ito. So doon lang ako. If you want peace of mind, available po ako. I can be an option,” he said.
Moreno said the warm and sincere show of support he gets from the “silent majority” wherever he and Team Isko goes throughout the country further cements his resolve to fight for them till the very end.
Moreno is no stranger to being a political underdog since this was the story of his life ever since he became a Manila City councilor in 1998.
This is why Moreno is optimistic he could pull a surprise win in the presidential race despite his being in third-place standing in the latest pre-election surveys.
The 47-year-old presidential candidate experienced a similar feat in the 2019 elections when he defeated former president and then-incumbent Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
“Number 3 din ako sa survey noon. Noong araw ng election, 51% of votes ang nakuha ko dahil nga natatakot yung tao, tinatabi niya lang ang boto niya,” the youngest elected Manila City mayor recounted.
The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet said he hopes history would repeat itself this year when he is vying for the highest position in the land.
Moreno told reporters that he was also drawing inspiration from the 1948 US presidential elections, where incumbent President Harry Truman pulled an upset victory against New York Governor Thomas Dewey, the survey frontrunner.
“If we all believe that history repeats itself, Gov. Dewey has been leading the survey for one year, even to the point that Chicago Tribune printed the newspaper for the following day (election day) that Dewey won,” Moreno pointed out.
“But it turned out na tahimik lang pala yung tao. Kinabukasan, ang nanalo, si Truman,” Moreno said.
Just like how he scavenged for leftovers when he was still a young “basurero” in Tondo, Moreno said he is using the same vigor in scouring the Philippines for undecided voters who he believes could turn around the results of the elections in his favor.
“Ang pulubi, hindi nakakapamili. So yung mga tira-tira nila, sisimutin ko. Akin na lang yung tira. Yung ayaw nila, sa akin na lang. Mahirap… pero susuyurin ko, gagapangin ko. Kulang na lang gumapang kami sa aspalto, sa semento, sa bukid, maabot lang ang tao,” Moreno explained.
Even though former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo have cornered majority of political endorsements from incumbent local officials, Moreno said that he is still hopeful based on how he and his Aksyon Demokratiko slate are welcomed by governors and mayors in their provincial sorties.
In his visit to the provincial capitol of Aklan – part of the Panay group of islands in Western Visayas which has long been a bailiwick of the Liberal Party – capitol officials and employees flocked around Moreno, shrieking and taking pictures as the Manila Mayor made its way to the office of Gov. Florencio Miraflores.
Moreno had earlier expressed optimism that the “silent majority” from the lower middle class as well as the urban and rural poor will deliver the crucial votes on May 9 and make him the 17th president of the Republic.
Moreno had said that the tens of thousands of people he directly met and shook hands in various provincial sorties does not jibe with pre-election survey results made by major polling firms that tend to show his numbers at a far third from the frontrunner.