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Ex-DOH consultant, social media personality vies for Senate seat

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By Xave Gregorio

A 55-year-old doctor with a large online following, who once served as a consultant for the Department of Health, is running for senator.

Doctor Willie Ong said he was inspired by former Senator Juan Flavier to gun for a seat in the upper chamber. He is one of Lakas – Christian Muslim Democrats’ Senate bets.

Ong, who has over 8.6 million followers on Facebook, would push for cheaper medicines, free medical operations, health advice and PhilHealth coverage for lab tests if he wins.

Despite a large online following and frequent guestings on health show Salamat Dok, he only ranked 33 to 44 in the latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey.

Still, Ong is counting that God would not embarrass him.

“Hindi ako ilalagay ng Diyos dito, hindi niya ako bibigyan ng 10 million followers, ang lakas ng engagement, para lang mawala. At saka hindi niya ako dadalhin dito para mapahiya, matalo, malubog. Kahit anong mangyari, matalo, manalo, okay lang,” he told reporters.