Mangudadatus’ backing for Moreno vital for Mindanao campaign, says Aksyon Demokratiko chair

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso’s alliance with the Mangudadatus, led by Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, will play a big role in boosting his presidential bid in Mindanao once he visits the southern Philippines, Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel said Monday.

“I think it’s a huge factor. Alam naman natin na dalawang probinsya yung kanilang kinakampanyahan. Yung asawa niya ay nasa Sultan Kudarat and I believe she’s already unopposed. At yun din naman yung impluwensya ni former governor and now congressman Toto Mangudadatu na babalik bilang gobernador,” Ramel said during a press briefing at the Isko Moreno for President Campaign Headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

isko moreno with mangudadatus

Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso (right) with Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu (center) and Sharifa Akeel Mangudadatu (left). Photo courtesy of Sharifa Akeel Mangudadatu Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso’s alliance with the Mangudadatus, led by Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, will play a big role in boosting his presidential bid in Mindanao once he visits the southern Philippines, Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel said Monday.

“I think it’s a huge factor. Alam naman natin na dalawang probinsya yung kanilang kinakampanyahan. Yung asawa niya ay nasa Sultan Kudarat and I believe she’s already unopposed. At yun din naman yung impluwensya ni former governor and now congressman Toto Mangudadatu na babalik bilang gobernador,” Ramel said during a press briefing at the Isko Moreno for President Campaign Headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.ADVERTISEMENT

“Malalaki yung kanilang sway, in fact meron silang sariling partido doon, local party na ikinakampanya si Mayor Isko,” he added.

Ramel made the statements after being asked by reporters how big a factor is Moreno’s alliance with the Mangudadatus in boosting his numbers in Mindanao, amid posting low numbers in the southern Philippine region in recent pre-election polls.

Mangudadatu and his wife Sharifa Akeel, who is running for governor in Sultan Kudarat, expressed their full support to Moreno’s presidential bid during his proclamation rally last February 8.

Maguindanao, which has a voting population of 766,497 as of 2019, is the most populous province in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Sultan Kudarat, on the other hand, has 452,000 registered voters.

But besides the Mangudadatus, Ramel said Moreno has also secured the backing of a number of “silent supporters” in the region who are just waiting for the 47-year-old presidential aspirant to visit Mindanao before coming out in the open.

“At this time, hindi pa kasi nagpupunta si Mayor Isko doon. Nakita naman natin na he hasn’t gone through Mindanao. However, there are already silent supporters na nagsasabing handa silang lumabas once pumunta doon si Mayor Isko Moreno,” he said.

“In fact, may mga grupo diyan na may mga kanya-kanyang… may minamanok din silang bise, and that’s a welcome development,” said Ramel.

Ramel said Moreno’s campaign is open and will welcome any and all endorsement that may come Team Isko’s way, including that of President Rodrigo Duterte, who incidentally comes from Mindanao.

“Any endorsement, lalo na po sa mga mahahalagang mga personalidad, yung mga may kakayanang maka-sway ng isipan ng ilang mga followers nila, welcome po sila. Regardless if it’s, siyempre President Duterte, or a senator, or a mayor, a congressman, lahat po sila ay welcome. At naniniwala kami na ito ay darating as his numbers continue to rise,” he said.

“Lahat ng pwedeng mag-endorso ay welcome sa amin. Dahil tingin ko, nagiging malinaw sa kanila ang pagtaas ng numero, unang una ni Mayor Isko as we go on with the campaign; pangalawa, yun pruweba na ginawa niya sa Maynila, yung tunay na solusyon na prinisinta niya sa inyo when he presented his 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic agenda; at yung kakayahan niya na mabilis umaksyon. These are all proven and these are all being seen now by a lot of people and influencers, so to speak,” Ramel explained.

In the meantime, the Aksyon Demokratiko chairman said the campaign is now finalizing the schedule for Moreno’s Mindanao sorties, as Team Isko is currently barnstorming Western and Northern Samar.

Ramel believes that Moreno’s gradually rising numbers will continue as the campaign progresses, and as Filipinos begin to realize who among the candidates have the real competence and capabilities to lead the nation.

“The mayor will definitely go there (Mindanao), may mga itinakda ng schedule. Like I said, ito yung isang kandidato na bukod sa may charisma, siya yung may pruweba. Yung sinasabi nga natin na “tunay na solusyon, mabilis umaksyon.” And ito yung unti-unting nare-realize nung ating mga kababayan ngayon,” he said.

And media will play a vital role for this process of people’s discernment to come into full bloom, Ramel pointed out.

“Like I said before the campaign, media should help educate our voters by having more live interviews and forums for the presidential candidates, so that they (voters) get to know them not just with what they see on social media that are mostly buzzfeed,” he said.

“As this campaign goes on, people will see a lot of things, maraming mari-reveal, at magkakaroon ng kalinawan ng pag-iisip ang ating mga mamamayan sa tunay na kakayahan ng mga kandidato natin,” Ramel said.

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