‘See you in the finals!’ Isko Moreno taunts Palace amid politicking claims
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday taunted Malacañang by being cryptic about his political plans for 2022 after he was accused of politicking in preparation for the 2022 national elections.
Speaking in an ambush interview, Moreno claimed government should be more attentive to the plight of the people affected by the coronavirus pandemic by providing them with the right medicine, and not focus on unnecessary items such as face shield.
“Basta magkikita tayo sa finals, kung gusto niyo ng pulitika. May panahon kami para sa inyo. For now, magligtas tayo ng tao,” Moreno said in an ambush interview on Wednesday at the Arroceros Park.
(We would see each other in the finals if you want politics. We would have that time for you. But for now, let’s save people first.)
According to Moreno, the government should be reminded that his request for more medicines instead of face shields is not politicking, as the scenario on the ground would show people struggling against the disease — thereby needing medicines.
He also dared officials to step out of their offices and go to Lawton or Tondo — areas near Moreno’s office and residence — if they are looking for a fight.
“Uulitin ko sa inyo ha, buhay ng tao ang nakasalalay, kaya wag niyo kaming sagutin ng pabalang. Ayaw namin kayong patulan pero tinutulak niyo kami sa pader. Tinutulak niyo na kami sa pader, ‘wag niyo kaming sagarin. Mahaba ang pasensya namin, kasi sinasaalang-alang namin ‘yong katayuan ng tao,” he explained.
(I’ll repeat it for you: people’s lives are at stake here, so do not answer us in a rude manner. We do not want to fight with you but you are pushing us against the wall. So don’t push us to the limit. Our patience is long because we are looking after the people’s welfare.)
“Kung gusto niyo ng away, bumaba kayo sa opisina niyo diyan, pumunta kayo ng Lawton, welcome kayo rito […] Puro naman kayo manduduro, pakita niyo tapang niyo dito,” Moreno dared.
(If you’re looking for a fight, get out of your offices and go to Lawton, you are very much welcome here. All you do is point fingers, show how brave you really are here.)
Moreno did not mention any official, he appeared to be alluding to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who claimed earlier that the mayor was only trying to court voters for the 2022 elections when asked for COVID-19 medicines.
Roque on Monday reacted to Moreno’s observations that the government should have focused on the procurement of remdesivir and tocilizumab — medicines used in treating COVID-19 patients — because it can save lives, while plastic face shields cannot.
Also, the mayor has been calling on the government to stop the face shield mandate as studies showed wearing it would not help protect people from COVID-19.
Earlier, Moreno went furious about Roque’s remarks, saying that it is a mere request to the national government to address the people’s needs, adding that there is no political motive behind it.
According to him, the only reason why they have requested more COVID-19 medicines was because of the demand for such by relatives of infected individuals.
Currently, the country has 158,637 active COVID-19 cases, after the Department of Health recorded 18,012 new infections on Tuesday. This comes on the heels of three-straight days with over 20,000 new infections.
“Forty-eight hours na kami ni Vice Mayor Honey to be exact, hindi kami magkanda-ugaga sa awa sa text, sa chat, sa paki-usap sa post sa Facebook, humihingi lang ng tocilizumab. Hindi naman namin iniyayabang ‘yan eh, kung gusto namin, amin na lang, kami na lang ang mabuhay. Pero ine-echo lang natin ‘yong sitwasyon,” he further said.
(Vice Mayor Honey and I have been receiving messages for 48 hours, and we have been restlessly answering many chats, texts, requests on Facebook, asking for tocilizumab. We are not proud of that, if we really wanted to, we can keep it to ourselves, and we will live well. But we are only echoing the situation on the ground.)
Moreno has been rumored to be aiming for the presidency in the 2022 elections, and had once been touted by President Duterte to be considered as a possible administration candidate, until Palace took noted Moreno’s criticisms of certain government policies.
Because of this, he has become among those being considered by Vice President Leni Robredo, herself a prospective candidate for the presidency, to lead the opposition against Duterte’s supposed “anointed one.”
Moreno, however, has yet to reveal his future political plans.
If Moreno indeed runs for president in 2022, he would be joining a pool that may include Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
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