Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is set to take his oath as a member of Aksyon Demokratiko, a move likely to fuel speculations about his 2022 political plans.
Moreno’s oath-taking is scheduled to take place at 5 pm on Thursday, August 5, at Rizal Park Hotel, Aksyon Demokratiko secretary-general Ernest Ramel told Rappler on Wednesday, August 4.
“His oath will be administered by Robbie Pierre Roco,” said Ramel.
Robbie, also known as Bobbit, is a son of the late senator Raul Roco, founder of Aksyon.
Moreno’s oath-taking will be preceded by a private meeting at 4 pm with Sonia Roco, wife of Roco, and party officers. Ramel denied that Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, also an Aksyon member, will be present at the event.
Moreno, however, is currently a ranking member of another political party, National Unity Party (NUP). In 2019, he was elected vice chairman, three months after his stunning victory in the Manila mayoral race against Joseph Estrada and Alfredo Lim.
Moreno’s local party, Asenso Manileño, is allied with NUP.
The Manila mayor has so far kept mum on speculations he will run for president in 2022. He has said he intends to run next year but did not specify the position.
Moreno has been doing well in surveys on possible presidential and vice presidential bets, recently placing second to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
Aksyon Demokratiko was recognized as a political party in 1998 by the Commission on Elections. Its founder Raul Roco ran and lost for president in the 1998 and 2004 elections.
Aside from Sotto, Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo is also one of Aksyon’s prominent members.
In the 2016 elections, the party endorsed the presidential bid of Senator Grace Poe, who included Moreno in her senatorial lineup. In the 2010 elections, it supported Benigno Aquino III.
Despite the dominance of Duterte and his allies, Aksyon adopted all the senatorial bets of the opposition in the 2019 elections. It chose as its standard-bearer former solicitor general Florin Hilbay.
There have been talks in Aksyon about an alliance with the Nationalist People’s Coalition, led by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, uncle of Pasig City Mayor Sotto. However, no partnership has been finalized.
Senate President Sotto himself is running for vice president. He is the running mate of Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is running for president under Partido Reporma. – Rappler.com