Isko’s messaging takes a turn as he commends Duterte

Manila Mayor and presidential candidate Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Manila Mayor and presidential candidate Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Friday commended President Duterte for his government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for fulfilling his campaign promises.

Speaking to reporters on Friday when he was on the stump in Bulacan province, Domagoso said, “It’s true that what President Duterte and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) have done to help local governments vaccinate our people is praiseworthy.”

He made these remarks following the national government’s three-day vaccination drive early this week.

History as judge

“We give credit where credit is due,” said the standard-bearer of the Aksyon Demokratiko party.

He added, “There are some things that are not perfect. But as long as the leader listens to complaints and corrects lapses, that’s what you call learning the lesson and moving forward.”Domagoso also said Mr. Duterte was “able to fulfill what he promised. History will judge him, not me.”

At the launching of infrastructure projects in Zamboanga City on Thursday, the President said “it appears that I’ve completed almost everything that I promised to the people.” He cited his drug war as well as the country’s peace and order situation on his watch.

Domagoso said, “History will also judge me as mayor of the City of Manila later on. For now, as far as we’re concerned, he’s still the President. He will do his part. As for me, as mayor, I’ll do my part as mayor.”

The presidential aspirant said he was “hopeful” of being endorsed by Mr. Duterte, after the President’s longtime aide, Sen. Christopher Go, said on Tuesday he was withdrawing from the presidential race.

“If they endorse me, thank you. Thank you in advance but I will not preempt them until they say so. For the meantime, I am always hopeful,” the Manila mayor said.But Go had yet to formally withdraw his candidacy, prompting Mr. Duterte to quip on Thursday “Are you running or not?”

Sexy photos

Before Domagoso declared his candidacy in September, he and the President had been critical of each other.

The mayor questioned Mr. Duterte’s priorities after the President criticized the sexy photos of a Metro Manila mayor whom he did not name, although he may have been referring to photos of Domagoso early in his career as a movie actor.

Domagoso also denounced the alleged corruption in connection with the Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. controversy.

The mayor was earlier identified with the opposition—particularly the 1Sambayan coalition, which had considered him as a presidential candidate before eventually choosing Vice President Leni Robredo.

Domagoso’s campaign is being managed by political strategist Lito Banayo, who also advised Mr. Duterte in the 2016 election campaign.

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