2022 Philippine Elections

Willie Ong disagrees with Isko, says Robredo shouldn’t withdraw from presidential race

Pia Ranada
Willie Ong disagrees with Isko, says Robredo shouldn’t withdraw from presidential race

RUNNING MATES. In this file photo, presidential candidate Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and running mate Willie Ong greet supporters during their campaign motorcade in Pasay City on February 13, 2022.

Rappler

Ong even says he admires Vice President Leni Robredo and has more in common with her in terms of positions on certain issues than Moreno himself

MANILA, Philippines – Isko Moreno’s own running mate Willie Ong lent his voice to those disagreeing with the Manila mayor’s call for Vice President Leni Robredo to withdraw from the presidential race.

Dapat ba siya mag-withdraw, [si] VP Leni? Siyempre, ako, hindi. Go siya. Sa akin, go kayo lahat. Go kayo lahat. Walang magpipigil,” he said in a video streamed on his Facebook page on Monday, April 18.

(Should VP Leni withdraw? Of course, for me, no. She should push through. Everyone should push through. No one should stop them.)

He said Moreno’s statement was his personal opinion, based on his experience being asked to withdraw by Robredo supporters.

‘Yung opinion niya, siyempre, hindi ko naman opinion. Iyon ‘yung experience niya. Hindi naman ako kasali sa usapan (His opinion, of course, is not my opinion. That was his experience. I am not part of those talks),” said Ong.

The vice-presidential candidates at the April 17 press conference had been invited at the last minute. Apart from Ong, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Ping Lacson’s running mate, was also present.

Ong even said he admires Robredo and has more in common with her in terms of positions on certain issues than Moreno himself.

“You know my honest view on VP Leni? She’s a lawyer. She’s good, great at answering questions, smart,” Ong said in Filipino.

Out of the 25 issues asked of her by GMA News anchor Jessica Soho in her interview – topics ranging from divorce to maritime policy – Ong said “100%” of Robredo’s answers would have been his answers too.

Tapos, kay Mayor Isko, meron kami, apat, [may] konti na hindi pareho (As for Mayor Isko, we don’t have the same stance on four issues),” said Ong.

But Ong, in a phone call with Rappler on Tuesday, April 19, said he is still “100% supportive of Mayor Isko.” – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.