Manila Mayor Isko Moreno formally declared on Wednesday his 2022 presidential bid with a call to millennials to join government to "energize" a bureaucracy that is crowded with elder officials under the current administration.
The 46-year-old Moreno, a single-term mayor of the Philippine capital, is eyeing the highest position in the land with Willie Ong -- a medical doctor with a 16-million strong Facebook following -- as his running mate.
"To energize bureaucracy, I will be inviting millennials to join their government so they can put their talents in the service of their fellow countrymen," Moreno said as he announced his presidential bid in urban poor neighborhood Baseco compound in Tondo.
Millennials in government will be a breath of fresh air with senior citizens making up most of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet. Duterte, now 76, is the oldest to be elected president in the Philippines.
Should he get elected, Moreno said he would form the "broadest" government with members coming from different cities and parties.
"Sa ating administrasyon, competence not connection would be the sole guide in making appointments. To those with skills, no recommendation is necessary, to those without--need not," he said.
"I do not play coy, realtak lang po palagi kaya buong kababaan loob inihahayag ko sa inyo mga kababayan ko sa darating na Mayo tanggapin niyo po ang aking aplikasyon bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas," he said.
Moreno said he would open his plans for the country ahead of the elections to suggestions and criticism, calling himself a "lone ranger" as he is not part of any political family.
"Ngayon pa lang po bubuksan ko na ang aking mga plano sa mga suhestyon, opinyon gaya din ng sinimulan na natin sa pamamahala sa lungsod ng Maynila," he said.
A scavenger-turned-actor, Moreno alluded to President Duterte when he said that he doesn't curse God and has never attacked the clergy--actions that the 76-year-old leader courted controversy for.
"Lumaki akong busabos ngunit hindi ako naging bastos, bagama't balot ako ng dumi sa katawan ni minsan hindi ko kailangan sabunin ang aking bibig," Moreno said.
"Ni minsan hindi ako nagtampo sa Diyos. Hindi ko siya minura, hindi ko siya tinalukuran at ang kaniyang mga alagad hindi ko inalipusta," he added.
Moreno has earned the ire of President Duterte who threw a "callboy" shade at him for his sexy film past. The Manila mayor however simply brushed it off.
Should Moreno win the presidency, he will only be the second mayor to go straight to Malacañang from city hall after Duterte in 2016 and the second with a movie star past, after Joseph Estrada in 1998.
"I may not give you perfect government but together we can make it better," Moreno said.