MANILA, Philippines — The tandem of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Dr. Willie Ong as candidates for president and vice president is “cast in stone,” Moreno’s campaign manager Lito Banayo said on Friday night.
There is no room for discussion of a possible partnership between Vice President Leni Robredo and Moreno, who has declared during their previous meetings that he is only interested in seeking the presidency, according to Banayo.
“I was privy to some of the talks with… Robredo. We appreciate very much the fact that she is very sincere in trying to unite the opposition. We respect her for that. But we also made it very clear when she was trying to get Sen. (Manny) Pacquiao and Mayor Isko Moreno to sit together and Isko is only interested in the presidency and not the vice presidency,” Banayo told “The Chiefs” on OneNews/TV5.
Banayo said it was clear right from the beginning that Moreno’s candidacy “is cast in stone and in fact it has been more so when we decided to take in Doc Willie Ong” to be his vice presidential candidate.
When asked if Moreno will have Robredo as his running mate, Banayo said “that opportunity seems to have passed since we cannot just drop Doc Willie Ong” after the two men formally declared their intention to run last Wednesday.
Banayo said that Moreno and his team are very comfortable with Ong.
“We think it is a very good tandem. It addresses one of the main issues in the campaign which is how we fight the pandemic. So that’s that,” he said.
Banayo admitted that the presidential elections remain personality-based.
He said there are many things that they can still negotiate, like the 12 senatorial candidates under the Moreno-Ong ticket.
“Maybe we can talk about it… We have a few but that’s about it. Worse comes to worst, we are willing to go on the field with four or five or six (candidates). It’s good enough for us,” Banayo said.
Banayo said he is leaving it to Moreno and Robredo if they will still talk.
“It’s up to them. Vice President Robredo can be very persuasive. We give it to her. We perceive her to be very sincere in trying to unite the opposition. I wouldn’t want to be the person to close the door. That is not my job,” he said.Internet Explorer Channel Network