(UPDATE) Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday kicked off his campaign for the presidency in the Philippines' capital city that he led for nearly three years and billed as a showcase for the kind of leadership Filipinos can expect if he transfers to Malacanang from Manila city hall.
The former actor who started out poor held his proclamation rally at the Kartilya ng Katipunan, a shrine to proletariat revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio. It was there where he accidentally stepped on human feces at the start of his term, symbolizing his crusade to clean up Manila of dirt and crime.
Moreno, Francisco Domagoso in real life, was with his running mate Dr. Willie Ong and senatorial candidates Samira Gutoc, Carl Balita, and Jopet Sison. Before the proclamation rally, Moreno and his slate attended a mass at Sto. Niño Church in Tondo followed by a motorcade around the city.
"Eighty-nine days from now, pipili kayo, tandaan ninyo, kung sakali, may awa ang Diyos at ako ang pinili ninyo, ang pinili ninyo ay bahay, eskuwelahan, kalusugan, trabaho, at kapanatagan at pantay-pantay na Pilipino sa buong bansa. 'Yun ang singilin n'yo sa akin," Moreno said.
The single-term Manila mayor is taking the same route to Malacanang as President Rodrigo Duterte, who in 2016 ran for the chief executive post after ruling Davao as mayor for more than 20 years.
Responding to criticisms that it was too early for the mayor to gun for the presidency, he said he is offering his services as alternative to the ruling families he called the "red" and the "dilaw" and "pink." He highlighted the Marcos' two-decade rule, Cory and Noynoy Aquino's 12-year presidency, and rival Leni Robredo's six years as vice president.
"Twenty-one years ng mga Marcos, then doon naman tayo sa kabilang banda, 'yung nagtatagisang pamilya... 12 years, at 'yung kanilang napamunuan ngayon na grupo na siya namang maganda rin ang intesyon... 'Pag sinumatutal mo mga kababayan, sa panahon ng mga pula, 21 years, sa panahon ng mga dilaw at pink, straightforward lang, 18 taon sila in total," said Moreno.
While they could be better than him in some ways, Moreno said "I get things done."
"Kung pagod na kayo sa kanilang dalawa, nandito ako. Maiba naman... Ano ba naman 'yung magbakasakali kayo sa akin ng 6 years?"
Moreno wants to replicate his projects in Manila, such as free housing and pandemic response, on a national scale.
The former actor was criticized for being a "political butterfly" and "trapo" for party-hopping and criticizing his former party-mates including ex-President Joseph Estrada, under whose mayorship of Manila Moreno served as vice mayor. He has repeatedly rejected the observation.
Should Moreno win, he will only be the second mayor to go straight to Malacanang from city hall after Duterte in 2016 and the second with a movie star past, after Estrada in 1998.
He urged his supporters to campaign for him in the next three months.
"Puwede bang makapangutang ng oras ninyo?... Pahiram muna ng laway ninyo, ng oras ninyo, mga kababayan kong nandito, taya n'yo na ako, sa akin piso tamang barko. Ang puhunan n'yo lang sa akin, laway, puyat, pagod, usap dito, usap doon pero kinabukasan ng inaank ninyo nakasalalay sa laban na ito."