Isko ‘is a disgrace and should be disqualified!’

Isko ‘is a disgrace and should be disqualified!’

In this file photo, incumbent Manila mayor Isko Moreno is seen dancing with performers during the campaign launch of former president and mayoralty candidate Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada in 2013. Now going on his third year as Manila’s local chief executive, Moreno aims for the presidency in the forthcoming May polls this year. (Photo: Getty Images/Noel Celis)

There is a minimum requirement of morality, of moral compass, of decency, of moral empathy. And if you are incapable of meeting that minimum requirement, you can’t even talk to me about policy.
— Nicaraguan-American political strategist Ana Navarro

MANILA mayor and Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso is a disgrace and should be disqualified.

Elected in 2019, Moreno has abused his powers and prerogatives as local chief executive of Manila, and apparently, instead of doing his job at city hall, he travels outside of the city on official time but not in relation to his duties as city mayor—and we all know that anything outside of those parameters constitutes graft and corruption.

But the neophyte city mayor—who has been in office for just a little more than two years—is so full of confidence in himself that he is now running for president.

That’s because apart from a media group that helps him brighten his image in front of the citizenry and the whole country, Moreno also enjoys the financial support of undisclosed oligarchs, as seen in his endless expensive pre-election television commercials promoting his political career.

In our country, continuous television broadcasts of commercials of any political figure would cost in the hundreds of millions of pesos and for his part, Moreno has refused to explain time and again where he get the money to sustain his commercials. And we know that his salary as city mayor would not be able to cover a fraction of these advertising expenses.

And that’s not all.

After he announced his presidential run, the actor-turned-politico has actually been busy campaigning around the country—reaching as far south as several Mindanao provinces. His media and political handlers refer to his many visits to the provinces as “listening trips”—a euphemism for partisan campaign sorties.

Imagine this: Moreno recently presided in an oath-taking ceremony of his supporters at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City as well as in far-away Pampanga. He also attended the inauguration of the Mactan-Cordova Bridge in Cebu and visited Subic in Zambales to “listen to the people” there.

So what involvement does the city mayor of Manila have in these?

The truth is that the partisan nature of Moreno’s campaign sorties in these areas outside Manila is confirmed by the streamers and tarpaulins extolling him as the next president of the Philippines, and what is galling about it is that they took place on official time even though they have absolutely nothing to do with his duties as city mayor.

Actually, this is enough ground to file anti-graft charges against Moreno. Any taxpayer can file the anti-graft complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman but the question is who would?

Still, basic decency demands that if Moreno is going to be occupied with his campaign for the presidency, he should resign as city mayor so as not to prejudice the interests of the city and its constituents.

But apparently, Moreno does not understand the meaning of ‘decency’.

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