This website requires JavaScript.

Isko’s Camp Denies Money Woes Forced Noli To Withdraw

Isko’s Camp Denies Money Woes Forced Noli To Withdraw
Former vice president and broadcaster Noli de Castro files his certificate of candidacy for senator at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City on Oct. 8, 2021. Photo by Jesse Bustos, The Philippine STAR

Money woes for Aksyon Demokratiko’s campaign did not force former vice president and broadcaster Noli de Castro to withdraw his candidacy for senator, party standard-bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s campaign manager said yesterday.

Lito Banayo, in an interview with dzMM Teleradyo, denied a report that De Castro backed out because of lack of funds to fuel his campaign with Aksyon party.

“Mayor Isko is committed to help in the campaign resources of his senatorial candidates,” said Banayo, citing how the Manila mayor had given financial support to two other senatorial bets of the party – review center businessman and radio host Carl Balita and civic leader Samira Gutoc.

“I was there when the mayor gave them money for expenses, which is normal in a campaign,” he said.

The veteran political strategist maintained that De Castro backed out due to “personal reasons.”

With De Castro’s withdrawal, Banayo announced the addition of ABS-CBN assistant executive producer Jopet Sison in Aksyon’s senatorial slate. Sison formerly held the positions of Quezon City councilor, National Housing Authority assistant general manager, and National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. president.

Banayo said Moreno’s senatorial slate will not include guest candidates from rival camps even if it means not completing a full 12-member lineup.

Five days after filing his certificate of candidacy for senator on Friday, Oct. 8, De Castro changed his mind and withdrew his bid to run in the May 2022 elections.

De Castro, a known devotee of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, said he had prayed hard and came to the realization that he would best continue serving the Filipino people through broadcasting.

“Let me stress that my intentions and aspirations for the nation have not and will not change. I will continue to be the voice of our countrymen, especially in these times when that voice is drowned out by the noise of politics and power exercised for selfish interests of the few,” he said.

De Castro, who was sworn in as a member of the Aksyon Demokratiko party before filing his COC last Friday, thanked party standard-bearer Isko Moreno for the Manila mayor’s trust and confidence in him.

Aksyon Demokratiko has until Nov. 15 to name De Castro’s replacement and party chairman Ernest Ramel said he would remain a member of the party.

‘Personal reasons’

During the “Kapihan sa Manila Bay” media forum on Wednesday, Oct. 13, Moreno said he respects De Castro’s “personal reasons” for dropping out of the senatorial race.

“I believe and support his decision. There is a personal reason behind it, but I’m not at liberty to tell the public,” he said.

Off to Batangas

Today,  Oct. 15, the Manila mayor is visiting the vote-rich province of Batangas where the ruling local political party is supporting his presidential bid.

Moreno and his running mate, Dr. Willie Ong, will visit the local leaders in the province which was the first to declare support for his candidacy.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and House Deputy Speaker Vilma-Santos Recto were among the first to declare their support for the Aksyon standard-bearer.

The celebrity couple are stalwarts of the Nacionalista Party and leaders of the local political party, One Batangas.

Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, a PDP-Laban member, has also declared support for Moreno, according to Moreno’s camp.

Based on Commission on Elections (Comelec) data, Batangas has over 1.7 million registered voters as of 2019, making it among the top vote-rich provinces in the country.

Isko wishes Sara well

Last Wednesday, Moreno expressed his personal wish for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to recover soon from COVID-19.

“I wish her well. I know the feeling of having COVID. I have sent my regards to her and I will pray for her,” Moreno said.

Moreno said he has not personally met Duterte-Carpio – who has topped presidential surveys even if she is running for reelection in Davao – but commiserates with her since he, too, suffered from COVID-19 and survived it.

He added that there had been no talks between his camp and that of Duterte-Carpio’s for them to run in tandem in next year’s presidential elections.