Know Your Candidate: Francisco 'Isko' Moreno Domagoso

“Lumaki akong busabos pero hindi ako naging bastos.”

Esquire Philippines is running a series of profiles on the most high-profile candidates for the position of President of the Philippines during the 2022 elections. This is intended to educate and inform Filipino voters as they make the potentially life-changing decision of choosing the country’s next leader. 

Full Name: Francisco ‘Isko’ Moreno Domagoso

Birthdate: 24 October 1974

Age: 47

Birthplace: Tondo, Manila, Philippines

Religion: Roman Catholic

Languages Spoken: Filipino, English


Father: Joaquin Copias Domagoso. (1930–1995). A stevedore at Manila's North Harbor. Hailed from San Jose, Antique.

Mother: Rosario Moreno (1946–2020). A housewife who also worked as a laundrywoman. Hailed from Allen, Northern Samar.

Siblings: Domagoso considers himself an only child but revealed he has older half-siblings with whom he maintains good relations. 

Wife: Diana Lynn Ditan (2000 to present). A businesswoman and a former taekwondo athlete of the Philippine national team. 

Son: Vincent Patrick Moreno (1998). 

Daughter: Frances Diane Moreno (2000).

Son: Joaquin Andre Ditan Domagoso (24 October 2001). Filipino actor and model currently with GMA Network.

Son: Franco Moreno Domagso (2006).

Son: Drake Marcus Domagoso (2012).

Photo by War Espejo.


Elementary: Rosauro Almario Elementary School

Secondary: Tondo High School

Tertiary: Domagoso briefly enrolled in maritime engineering at the Philippine Maritime Institute in 1992 but dropped out after he was scouted by a talent manager and pursued a career in showbusiness. He has a Bachelor of Laws degree from Arellano University; a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the International Academy of Management and Economics; and has completed courses in Local Legislation and Local Finance from the University of the Philippines - Diliman. He attended an Executive Education Program at Harvard University, and Strategic Leadership Program at Oxford University. 

Government Service

Councilor, Manila (1998-2007)

Vice Mayor, Manila (2007-2016)

Chairman of the Board, North Luzon Railways Corporation (2017)

Undersecretary, Social Welfare and Development for Luzon Affairs and Special Concerns (2018)

Mayor, Manila (2019 to present)

Notable Achievements

During the pandemic, Domagoso oversaw Manila’s COVID-19 response, which included building a COVID-19 field hospital, providing free mass testing, and mass vaccination drive. He also implemented hazard pay for the city’s frontliners, and put up sleeping quarters for frontliners. 

As mayor, Domagoso has provided low-cost housing for the urban poor, along with beautification and tourism projects across the city. He also pursued the construction of schools and hospitals in Manila, which he wants to replicate on a national level.

Domagoso also redeveloped the Arroceros Forest Park, which is considered “The Last Lung of Manila.” Critics accused the mayor of ordering the cutting down of trees, but Domagoso maintained all trees were accounted for and no tree was damaged during the redevelopment of the park. 

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In 2020, Manila topped the Department of Trade and Industry’s ranking of highly urbanized cities based on economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency. It fell to second place in 2021, trailing behind Quezon City.

Legal Proceedings

In 2013, Domagoso and five other Manila city councilors were arrested for illegal gambling but the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office dropped the charges for lack of evidence. 

“According to Chief Fiscal [Elaine] Cerezo, we are being released on the basis of insufficiency in evidence. Sa madaling salita, napatunayan namin na kami ay hindi lumabag sa batas at kulang ang ebidensya,” Moreno said in an interview with DZMM.

Advocacies and Platforms

Domagoso proposes spending on public infrastructure for basic needs, social services, and health. He has also called for reducing taxes on petroleum and electricity by half. If he becomes president, he will dedicate his first two years in office to strengthening the health sector along with food security, education, and housing projects.

Domagoso has also proposed a “tourism circuit” and a focus on countryside development. He has also vowed to improve education in remote areas of the Philippines, on top of providing public school students and teachers with laptops or tablets and free broadband connection, school supplies, and anti-Covid hygiene kits.

The Manila Mayor will also allow foreign probers under the International Criminal Court to come to the Philippines to investigate alleged crimes against humanity under the Duterte administration. He has vowed to continue the War on Drugs without extrajudicial killings. 

Notable Quotes

“I always tell my children, work is work. Anong gusto mo, basurero o artista? Some people, of course, thought hindi siya magandang gawain. But for me it was a profession.”


“It pays to wait. It pays to be patient. It pays to prepare yourself. Because, in the end, it’s really up to the people to decide.”

Lumaki akong busabos pero hindi ako naging bastos. Bagama't balot ako ng dumi sa katawan, ni minsan hindi ko kailangan sabunin ang aking bibig… Ni minsan hindi ako nagtampo sa Diyos. Hindi ko siya minura at ang kaniyang mga alagad, hindi ko inalipusta.”

“I believe people should speak truth to power rather than threatening the people for speaking the truth.”

“When assaulted with lies, the truth, not the trolls, will set you free.”

Campaign slogan: Tunay na solusyon, Mabilis umaksyon


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