TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Philippines — Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso refused to apologize for calling on Vice President Leni Robredo to withdraw from the presidential race and described her as the “No. 1 bully,” adding she does not respect but looks down on, people.
“Ang tanong ko, kayo lang ba ang may karapatan tumakbo? Kayo lang ba ang may karapatan na maging kandidato sa pagkapangulo? Kayo lang ba ang magaling? (My question is: Are you the only one who has the right to run for president? Are you the only good one?),” Moreno said in an ambush interview in Bohol.
Domagoso accused Robredo and her supporters of being bullies, citing incidents where pro-Robredo businessmen allegedly threatened to fire employees who support other presidentiables.
“Some of them said ‘no to bully,’ but Leni is the No. 1 bully. That’s why I’m against bullies. They crossed the line, so I will not stop going after them. They burned the bridges. They do not respect you. They look down on you. That’s why people do not like them,” he said.
Categorical denial sought
Domagoso also called on lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, to “stop answering. Let your boss respond or maybe let her answer with the help of a teleprompter.”
He said Robredo should categorically deny that her camp asked him as well as presidential candidates Panfilo Lacson and Norberto Gonzales to withdraw.
He also challenged Robredo’s campaign manager former senator Bam Aquino to categorically deny the withdrawal call, as Moreno, Lacson and Gonzales claimed on Easter.
The three candidates made the claim a day before the Octa Research Group announced the result of their latest survey, showing that Moreno took a drop in voter support while Robredo had a significant increase.
Professor Guido David, the Octa Group’s lead mathematician, said former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. continued to maintain a 57-percent majority of 1,200 surveyed voters from April 1 to April 6, or about a month before the May 9 election.
Marcos’ support was 2 points more than Octa’s last survey in February, but the most significant increase went to Robredo, who gained 7 points to 22 percent from 15 percent in February.
Moreno also remained at third, but he slipped to 9 percent in April from 11 percent in February.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao also remained at fourth with 7 percent from 10 percent in February while Lacson remained at fifth with 4 percent from 3 percent in February.