MANILA – Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Wednesday urged people, especially the youth, not to be blinded by the fight for power among the two warring political factions who have ruled the country for several decades.
Instead, he urged them to focus on the real fight which is against poverty, hunger, inequality, social injustice -- issues that he vowed to focus on and act upon quickly if elected to the country's highest post.
“Gusto niyo ba ng murang bilihin, murang kuryente, mabilis na internet, trabaho, bahay, eskwelahan, ospital? 'Yun ang gobyernong alay ko. Diretso sa tao para sa kinabukasan ng kabataan ng ating bansa (Do you want affordable goods, cheap electricity, fast internet services, jobs, housing, schools and hospitals? That is the government I am offering. Straight to the people for the future of our youth)," he said during his concert-rally at the old Tagbilaran City Airport in Bohol.
Domagoso said people should not believe critics who say he is still young to become a president, pointing to the late President Ramon Magsaysay who was just 46 years old when he became the country's seventh president and guided the Philippines 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 nyo kayo ang umaakay, o yung presidente ang umaakay sa inyo? (They are saying that I am still too young to be president. Do you want those who are 80 years old? Do you want to be the ones guiding your president or the president guiding you)," he added.
Domagoso vowed to pursue a “life and livelihood” economic policy that aims to address poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality and social injustice through effective, efficient and prudent management of government resources.
These would be all done under an open, transparent and inclusive administration, as spelled out under his 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda, he said.
Besides providing the minimum basic needs of the people -- quality housing, education, health care, and creating jobs and livelihood opportunities -- the presidential aspirant also vowed an accelerated infrastructure program that will be focused on 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 nandito, 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 9. Tayo, tayong mga kabataan ang guguhit ng ating tadhana (To everyone here, join us this coming May 9. Let us end the conflict between red and yellow. We, the youth, are the ones who will end the fight of the big politicians. Do not forget about your capabilities this May 9. Us, the youth, will draw our fate)," Domagoso said.
He also reminded the crowd to have faith in God and expressed confidence in victory in the coming elections.
"At sa inyong lahat, manalig kayo, huwag kayong susuko. May awa ang Diyos, makakaraos tayo. Mananalo tayo (And to all of you, have faith, don't give up. God has mercy, we will pull this through. We will win)," the presidential aspirant said.
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 Domagoso, who is from their 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 (I am very impressed with you Boholanos. Congratulations Bohol. You were hit hard by an earthquake, you got toppled, yet you stand again. You were hit again by a typhoon, yet you stand again, now all of Bohol's youth are standing. That's how good and resilient Boholanos are)," he said.
He 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 their youth.
Boholanons have a soft heart for Domagoso 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.
The typhoon severely damaged homes, buildings, establishments and government facilities and infrastructure, as well as communication facilities and power lines, in the entire province.
As soon as the airport was cleared of debris, Domagoso flew to Bohol on December 20 to personally hand over an initial PHP1 million in financial assistance, four generator sets, and food boxes for typhoon victims on 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.
Domagoso's kindness and a 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.
He also paid courtesy calls to Catigbian Mayor Elizabeth Mandin, who 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. (With Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)