Iskomunista? Moreno disputes communist tag, says he is pro-business | Inquirer News
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Iskomunista? Moreno disputes communist tag, says he is pro-business

/ 01:52 PM October 13, 2021
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said those who are claiming he is President Rodrigo Duterte’s secret presidential candidate may be high on drugs.

FILE PHOTO: Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno again disputed claims that he is a communist candidate, saying that he actually even subscribes to having equal opportunities and even lessening the government’s restrictions on businesses.

Speaking during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Tuesday, Moreno said that his beliefs were much more leaning towards the free-market economic models and may go against the core concepts of communism.

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In fact, Moreno said, he prefers a democratic system of government.

“Straightforward, I am no communist. I do not believe in communism, I believe in democracy. I believe in certainty, I believe in equal opportunity. I believe na ikaw, kapag nagsikap ka, pwede mong gastusin, pwede mong pakinabangan ang lahat ng, (that you, if you persevere, you can spend your money, you can reap all) the fruits of your labor, you have the right to enjoy it,” he said.

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“Ang komersyo ay pantay-pantay. In fact, ayaw ko’ng masyadong, too much control ang gobyerno sa komersyo.  And that doesn’t apply with communism.  So ako one flag, one country,” he added.

(Commerce should be equal. In fact, I do not want too much government control of commerce.  And that doesn’t apply to communism.  So for me, it’s one flag, one country.)

Despite this, he said that the government must still tend to Filipinos with opposing political beliefs as they are still citizens of the country.

According to Moreno, the government must still try to convince communist rebels to return to the fold, to achieve peace that will usher progress.

“While at the same manner, remember, mamamayan mo rin itong mga ito, baka naligaw ito ng landas.  ‘Di ba dapat ikinukumbinse mo ito, hindi mo sila ine-alienate? Whether they disagree with you, or agree with you, you must govern and there is only one government — Philippine government,” he explained.

(While in the same manner, remember, they are your people too, maybe they lost track of where they should go.  Isn’t it that they should be convinced, and not alienated?)

“I don’t like terrorists, I condemn terrorism. I don’t believe in communism, I believe in equal opportunity […] We deserve peace, peace is a very expensive and hard to find, but we must seek for it because peace brings us better things,” he added.

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Moreno was accused of being a communist candidate after old photos of him with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison surfaced on social media.

Then, in October 2020, then military Southern Luzon command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade asked if Moreno was welcoming CPP and New People’s Army rebels in Manila after the mayor put down tarpaulins stating that the rebels are persona-non-grata in the city.

Moreno reasoned back then that they would not want to spread hate during a time of a global pandemic.

Regarding the photo with Sison, Moreno said that he met the communist leader because he was part of the government’s panel on the peace talks, as an observer.

However, he claimed that political operators cropped other individuals in the photo, including pro-military delegates.

He said it is similar to his photo with former senator Bongbong Marcos, which was taken out of context because he was only there to facilitate a civil wedding in which the late dictator’s son was a sponsor.

“May picture, it’s a peace talk eh, did you know that I was part of the peace talks and I am grateful for the experience because at least nakakita ako ng malaking problema (I got the chance to witness a big problem) which is insurgency, kaya nagka-ganoon for some different ideology, and I witnessed it,” Moreno said.

“Katulad ng picture namin ni Bongbong Marcos sa isang restaurant na ako ang nagkasal […] Ninong si Bongbong Marcos pero ang ginawa nila ni-crop nila ‘yong picture. Pinapalabas no’ng mga operators na kaya ‘yan ganyan, kasi Bongbong Marcos ‘yan.  So the same picture in the peace talk, kina-crop ‘yong picture, […] Pero hindi nila pinapakita ando’n ‘yong mga military,” he added.

(Like my photo with Bongbong Marcos in a restaurant where I wedded a couple.  He was the sponsor but what people did was to crop the photo, and operators made it appear that I am acting like this because I am with Bongbong Marcos.  So the same picture in the peace talks, they cropped it.  But they did not show the military officials present.)

Moreno is running for president in the 2022 national elections, squaring up against Marcos, Vice President Leni Robredo, labor leader Leody de Guzman, and Senators Manny Pacquiao, Panfilo Lacson, and Ronald dela Rosa.

Moreno is banking on a platform of quick action, especially regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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TAGS: #2022candidates, #VotePH2022, Aksyon Demokratiko, Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, Mayor Isko Moreno
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