MANILA, Philippines – Two Manila councilors, Princess Abante and Ernesto “Jong” Isip Jr., are the latest additions to Isko Moreno’s roster of campaign spokespersons, asked to target the youth audience.
Raymond Burgos, head of Moreno’s campaign communications, told Rappler on Monday, February 14, that the two will become Moreno’s “face to the Filipino youth” and will speak on the 47-year-old presidential candidate’s stance on issues important to youth voters.
Morenos’ team is particularly keen on drumming up support among 21- to 29-year-olds.
Abante and Isip were formally presented to the press later on Monday. They join the campaign team’s Speakers Bureau, or its roster of spokespersons that includes campaign manager Lito Banayo and Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel.
Abante is Manila 6th District Councilor and the daughter of Deputy Speaker and Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr., one of the authors of the comprehensive anti-discrimination bill in the House, but the lone lawmaker to vote for the exclusion of the protection of gender identity in the proposed measure, saying it was redundant.
The younger Abante first became a councilor in 2013 and is now on her third term. Before entering Manila politics, she was with the National Youth Commission, serving as commissioner-at-large from 2005 to 2009. She then became an associate for former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile’s law firm, Ponce Enrile Reyes and Manalastas Law Office. Now 42 years old, she is the current chairperson of the National Movement of Young Legislators-National Capital Region.
The 45-year-old Isip is currently Manila 3rd District Councilor. He had once been a legislative staff officer of Moreno’s political mentor, former vice mayor Danilo Lacuna, from 2005 to 2006. Before then, Isip worked as an associate lawyer for Rodrigo Berrenguer and Guno Law Firm.
Abante got her law degree from the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, while Isip graduated from the San Beda College of Law.
As Manila councilors, they have experience in working with Moreno, who, as mayor, has counted on the city council for key initiatives. Moreno used to lead the councilors himself as a three-term vice mayor. The vice mayor automatically heads the city council. – Rappler.com