Manila Mayor Officially Runs for Philippine President

The popular mayor of the Philippine capital, Isko Moreno, registered his candidacy for president in next year’s election Monday (4/10).

At a press conference regarding his candidacy, Moreno vowed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, repair the country’s shattered economy and heal deep political divisions.

The mayor of Manila is now officially one of the few candidates involved in the fierce and politically intriguing competition to replace Rodrigo Duterte.

Philippine senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao attends a Senate hearing in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines September 20, 2016. (REUTERS)

Philippine senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao attends a Senate hearing in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines September 20, 2016. (REUTERS)

Senator and retired boxing star Manny Pacquiao also ran for office last Friday. Moreno and Pacquaio are expected to compete with Duterte’s daughter in the May 9, 2022 election.

Moreno, 46, who grew up in Manila’s slums, is expected to easily garner support by capitalizing on Filipino sympathy for him.

The story of his life as a scavenger in childhood; his look like a movie star; and his widely lauded projects in Manila, including restoring order to chaotic streets and public markets, are widely expected to be strong elements his campaign will overestimate.

Whoever succeeds Duterte will inherit the huge problems caused by the pandemic, which caused the country’s worst economic recession: long-standing poverty; and decades of communist and Muslim uprisings.

The next leader will also take power in a heated political climate over the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to hold Duterte to account for an anti-drug operation in his country that has killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers.

The ailing Duterte, 76, announced last Saturday that he was retiring from politics and pulling out of a previous plan to run for vice president under his ruling PDP-Laban party. The decision opens the option for his daughter, Sara Duterte, mayor of Davao City, Southern Philippines, to run for president.

Sara Duterte said she and her father had agreed that only one Duterte would run for national leader next year. He has registered to run for mayor again but speculation remains rife that he will decide to run for president. [ab/uh]

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