Palace: ‘No criticism towards Isko Moreno heard from Duterte’s mouth’
MANILA, Philippines — No criticism towards Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was heard from President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouth, Malacañang said Thursday as it kept mum about the mayor whom the Chief Executive was pertaining to in his recent tirades.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque insisted on not naming the mayor, saying it was up to the President if he wanted to identify the local official or not.
“Wala po akong narinig na pagbabatikos laban kay Mayor Isko na nanggaling sa bibig ni Presidente,” Roque said in a press briefing.
(I did not hear any criticism against Mayor Isko that came from the President’s mouth.)
Roque was reacting to the Makabayan bloc’s statement claiming Duterte sees Moreno as a threat to a “dynasty” come the national elections in 2022.
Pressed to name the mayor if Duterte was not referring to Moreno, Roque said: “I will leave it at what the President said. As I said, I’m only a spokesperson, I cannot rise above my source, the President is my source.”
“That’s up to him po,” he added when asked if Duterte would eventually name the mayor.
In his taped speech earlier this week, Duterte said he stripped a Metro Manila local government unit (LGU) of power to distribute cash aid because of its supposed inefficiency.
Duterte also mocked the mayor of this LGU for having “bikini” photos, teasing the public if it prefers a president whose training seems to be of a “call boy.”
While Roque repeatedly refused to name the mayor, many speculate the President was referring to Moreno, an actor in his youth and is among the preferred presidential bets in surveys.
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