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Isko Moreno on running for the highest position of the State: ‘It’s a calling’

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jan 23, 2022 4:07 pm

Presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso shared his stance on different issues in the Philippines as well as his main reason for running for the highest position of the State. 

In the Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews of GMA-7 news anchor Jessica Soho, the mayor tried to win the hearts of Filipinos with his “laki sa hirap” rhetoric and his accomplishments for Manila as he weighed in on the country’s current concerns and answered criticisms against him, including his P50-million leftover funds from his 2016 political campaign and accusations that he is “populist” and a “traditional politician.” 

On his P50 million excess campaign funds 

Moreno stressed that no law had been breached with his decision to keep the millions that were left from his campaign funds for the 2016 polls, which he declared after failing to secure a seat in the Senate.

At the time, he received a total of P171 million for donations—and was left with over P50 million by the end of his campaign, according to his Statement of Contribution and Expenditures. He later paid P9.7 million in taxes “for an income worth P50.55 million,” according to a report from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

Moreno said he did not violate any law—“as long as nagbabayad ka ng buwis.” He added, “I had to pay taxes. Kapag may natira sa kampanya, you have to declare tapos kapag ‘yun ay nasa iyo na ay kailangan mong magbayad ng buwis, which is ‘yun yung ginawa ko.” 

On the Marawi rehabilitation 

Another interview portion that became a hot topic was his promise to finish the rehabilitation of Marawi City by December 2022, should he win the 2022 elections. 

After pointing out the success of his housing initiatives in Manila, Moreno revealed his plan to complete the recovery of Marawi City, with areas that had been heavily devastated after a five-month siege between ISIS-inspired groups and government forces in 2017. 

The latest update shared by Eduardo Del Rosario—the chairperson of Task Force Bangon Marawi and the secretary of Human Settlements and Urban Development—in September 2021 showed that the rehab is 80% complete. If he becomes president, Moreno said: “By December of 2022, tapos na ‘yun. 100% na ‘yun.” 

On changing political parties and being called a ‘traditional politician’ 

When asked about his changing allegiances in the past elections—from Mayor Alfredo Lim to former Mayor Erap Estrada—and his switching of political parties and colors, Moreno said his loyalty has remained not with certain politicians, but with the Filipino people.

Ang kapakinabangan ng tao ang mahalaga sa akin, hindi kapakinabangan ng pulitiko.

“Kung naging mabuti ka at tinupad mo ang sinabi mo, sasamahan kita. Pero kung hindi ka totoo sa sarili mo at hindi ka totoo sa tao, hindi ako magiging tapat sayo dahil ang katapatan ko, sa taong bayan,” he continued. 

On running for Philippine president 

If he ends up triumphant in the 2022 elections, he would prioritize three things: buhay, kabuhayan, and trabaho. “Diyan lang iikot yung first two years of six years. Itatawid natin yung tao, makaraos tayo sa pandemyang ito. Maraming nawalan ng trabaho and I hope we can create more jobs,” he explained.

We have done things that are scalable, napapalaki, napapalawak—and can be shared to the entire country.

For Moreno, the many problems of the country have become “a normal thing” since he himself grew up in poverty. “Sanay naman ako sa hirap eh. Buong buhay ko, puro hirap ang inabot ko. Itong mga challenges na ito, para sa akin, it’s a normal thing,” he said. 

The presidential aspirant acknowledged that the country is a “bigger picture” compared to Manila. He, however, pointed out that they “have done things that are scalable, napapalaki, napapalawak—and can be shared to the entire country.”

His bid for a presidential seat presents him with an opportunity to serve the Filipino people. “Yung makapaglingkod ka sa taong bayan, ‘yun naman ay para nalang sa sarili mo na mabigyan ka ng pagkakataon to excel, to show your love for the country, your love for your fellowmen,” he said. 

“It’s a calling,” Moreno added quickly.