A multi-sectoral group is pushing Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to run for president in the 2022 elections, saying he embodies the qualities of a leader that can unite and help the country respond to the OVID-19 pandemic.
Composed of former government officials, non-government organizations, and civil service groups, IM Pilipinas or Ikaw Muna Pilipinas, was launched in early July to convince Moreno to give the presidency a chance in the upcoming elections.
The group includes former MMDA general manager Tim Orbos and former Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas secretary general Boy Zuñiga.
"Nakita namin ibang klase itong mama sa Maynila na ang daming pinapakitang kakaiba hindi lang sa larangan ng mabilis sumagot kundi merong vision, compassion and full of action," Elmer Argaño, the group's secretary general, told reporters in a virtual interview on Thursday.
"Sabi namin we need a leader like him. Alam naman namin tutok na tutok siya sa Maynila pero sabi namin let’s try to reach out, since we are less than a year away from elections. Maybe maganda ipasok ang pangalan ni Yorme," he added.
According to Argaño, Moreno should seek the presidency in 2022 as he represents hope and unity and he has the capacity to "unite all forces."
"Admit natin na si Yorme kahit anong bakuran pwede. Pangmahirap, mayaman, squatter, opposition, administrasyon. So yun ang malaking issue sa amin. Kailangan tigilan na natin ang political divide. It's time to work for a unifying president," he said.
Argaño said his group had met with Moreno to try to convince him to run for president, but the mayor didn't give them a definitive answer. He said they wanted to show Moreno that there are people who would support him should he decide to go for the position next year.
"As much as possible we want this to be people driven. And nagugulat kami across the country, he's been getting good feedback from many sectors," he said.
For now, IM Pilipinas, supported by "thousands" of leaders nationwide, is focused on organizing and getting more people to support their cause, Argaño said. The group now has chapters in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Baguio and is scheduled to launch also in Cebu.
Moreno was among those reportedly running for president in the 2022 elections, although he has yet to make an announcement about his plans for the upcoming polls.
He placed second to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the list of preferred presidential candidates for next year's elections, according to the June 2021 Pulse Asia survey.
Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, also said they are ready to support Moreno should he decide to run for president next year.