Vice presidential aspirant Willie Ong on Saturday took his oath as Aksyon Demokratiko member, days after he formally announced his candidacy with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Moreno, who also serves as president of Aksyon Demokratiko, led the oath taking rites with party chairman Ernest Ramel Jr.
Ong was accompanied by his wife Liza during the ceremonies.
Before joining Aksyon Demokratiko, Ong was a member of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party, which is allied with the Duterte administration.
Ong formally resigned from Lakas-CMD in a 22 September letter addressed to House Majority Leader and party president Martin Romualdez.
He ran for a senatorial seat in 2019 under Lakas-CMD, but settled at the 18th place.
A popular public health blogger, Ong would rely on his huge social media following of over 16 million people. He would run against formidable opponents in 2022, including President Rodrigo Duterte of the ruling PDP Laban and Senate President Vicente Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
On Thursday, Moreno and Ong kicked off their bid for the top government posts. They were endorsed by prominent politicians like Sen. Ralph Recto, Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, and former Senator Serge Osmeña.
A day later, at least 23 officials from various provinces in Luzon joined Aksyon Demokratiko, in what appears to be a show of growing support for the Moreno-Ong tandem.
Of the new Aksyon members, six were from the Nacionalista Party, five were from PDP Laban, three were independent politicians, and two were from the National Unity Party.
They were joined by politicians from Lakas-CMD, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Nationalist People’s Coalition, and the Liberal Party. Two others were from the Sangguniang Kabataan.