Aksyon Demokratiko, the party backing Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso for President, will be fielding at least 600 national and local candidates in the 2022 elections after its membership swelled by 300 percent, its top official said.
Aksyon Demokratiko has issued “easily more than 500 to 600” Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA), a requirement for candidates running under a political party, for the upcoming polls, Aksyon chairman Ernest Ramel Jr. told ABS-CBN News.
“We have a lot of CONAs issued to Visayas candidates and candidates from Mindanao,” he said.
“However, the problem is they cannot go here for the physical oath taking. What we’re looking at is a possibility of traveling to their areas and do the oath right there. That is just a possibility right now,” he said.
In 2016, Aksyon Demokratiko only had 400 members nationwide and “that number was further reduced before the 2019 midterm elections,” Ramel said.
But Aksyon began getting inquiries about membership again after Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, the party’s executive vice president, won the mayoralty race, ending the decades-long reign of the Eusebio dynasty, he said.
As of Sept. 27, about 50 government officials from across Luzon took their oaths before party president Domagoso as Aksyon continues to consolidate local support days before the filing of candidacies for next year’s elections.
Most of these new members are incumbent officials from Luzon who are seeking to challenge administration-backed candidates in their respective bailiwicks, and 23 Luzon leaders joined Aksyon Demokratiko after Domagoso confirmed his 2022 bid
“There will be more officials who are joining whether they are part of the party officially or not,” Ramel said.
“I think at the start, there were people who were joining, the younger ones, because of Mayor Vico, but when Mayor Isko came in, there were a lot of people who expressed interest in joining and eventually there were more after we elected him as party president and after he declared his plan to run for chief executive,” he added.
“The days after he declared his intention to run for president, the inquiries really poured in. We think there will be more new memberships even after we issue the CONAs,” Ramel said.
Among the recent additions to Aksyon Demokratiko are former Lakas-CMD official Dr. Willie Ong, who will run for vice president under Domagoso’s ticket, former Liberal Party member Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, and former Otso Diretso candidate Samira Gutoc.
Former Pasig Rep. Robert “Dodot” Jaworski Jr. is expected to join Aksyon before he files his certificate of candidacy for vice mayor under Sotto’s line up.
Aksyon Demokratiko is also expected to nominate at least two members to run for senator during its national assembly.