The mayor of Manila has launched his bid for the presidency of the Philippines, promising to struggle poverty and taking intention at his former ally, President Rodrigo Duterte, for his alleged failures within the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption.
The election is because of happen in Might 2022 and Duterte is barred from working for a second time period.
“As an alternative of flattening the curve we’ve flattened the economic system, but many individuals proceed to flatline in our hospitals,” Isko Moreno mentioned on Wednesday, talking from a brand new housing growth within the Manila slums of Tondo, the place he grew up and labored as a garbage collector earlier than he turned an actor.
Moreno was born Francisco Domagoso, however he’s extra popularly identified by his display screen title.
He’s the third high-profile politician and former ally of Duterte to declare a presidential bid. In latest days worldwide boxing champion, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Senator Panfilo Lacson additionally confirmed they might run.
Moreno has been performing strongly in latest opinion polls. In a Pulse Asia survey launched in July, he was the second option to turn out to be the nation’s subsequent chief, behind Duterte’s daughter, Davao Metropolis Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Whereas Duterte himself can not run for the presidency once more, he has accepted his social gathering’s nomination to run for vp – an unprecedented political transfer within the Philippines.
Duterte-Carpio had earlier mentioned she was not working for president, citing her personal father’s unconventional bid for vp. However she continues to journey across the nation, assembly regional and provincial political powerbrokers, which has solely fuelled hypothesis of a last-minute announcement.
Candidates for nationwide workplace, together with the president, vp and the 12 seats within the Philippine Senate, have till October 8 to formally file their certificates of nomination.
‘We will make it higher’
Moreno was solely elected mayor of Manila in 2019, beating one other widespread politician, the incumbent Joseph Estrada, who was additionally a former Philippine president.
He had beforehand served as a metropolis councillor and vice mayor. In 2016, he ran for senator in a coalition ticket with Duterte and his allies.
When he failed in his bid for a Senate seat, Duterte made him chairman of the board of the North Luzon Railways Company and later a senior social welfare official.
As mayor of Manila, Moreno has earned reward for cleansing up the Philippine capital and constructing new housing for a lot of poor settlers. However he has additionally been criticised for his silence on Duterte’s lethal warfare on medicine wherein hundreds have been killed, together with many drug suspects within the slums of Manila.
Moreno has turn out to be extra essential of Duterte and his authorities within the final yr amid the worsening pandemic, prompting Duterte to mock Moreno’s life as an actor. He additionally withheld the mayor’s energy to distribute assist to these below the pandemic lockdown.
“I’ll not offer you an ideal authorities, however collectively we are able to make it higher,” Moreno mentioned, as he introduced his bid for the highest job on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, he appealed for the assist of the Filipino public, invoking his background as a former garbage collector whereas alluding to the president’s crude public pronouncements.
“It’s not a criminal offense to put on threadbare garments due to poverty. What’s flawed is to reward an emperor’s garments when actually he’s carrying none,” he mentioned in a mixture of Tagalog and English.
“Sure, I grew up being poor. However I’ve by no means been bad-mannered. Though I’ve lived within the trash, not as soon as did I turn out to be foul-mouthed,” he mentioned, whereas taking a swipe on the alleged corruption within the Duterte administration’s buy of medical gear through the pandemic.
Moreno picked Dr Willie Ong, a doctor and failed senatorial candidate, as his working mate.
Earlier than his announcement on Wednesday, Moreno acknowledged that he was additionally in talks with Senator Pacquiao and Vice President Leni Robredo to forge a attainable coalition.