Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, more popularly known by his screen name “Isko Moreno” when he was still an actor, officially entered the 2022 presidential race in a speech this morning.
He likewise announced Willie Ong as his vice presidential running-mate. Ong is a medical doctor, social media personality, and a defeated senatorial candidate from 2019. Even before Moreno formalized his presidential bid, he has already been receiving criticisms from supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo that he does not really represent the “true opposition” because he is an erstwhile supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In reality, It is quite a stretch to claim that the Manila Mayor was a supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte or a member of the DDS (Duterte Diehard Supporters). Moreno ran as a senatorial candidate under Grace Poe in 2016. Both of them lost.
While it is true that Duterte appointed him as chairman and CEO of the North Luzon Railways Corporation in 2017, he only stayed on the job for four months. He was eventually appointed as undersecretary for the Department of Social Welfare and Development in 2018, but his stint lasted for just six months.
In 2019, Duterte endorsed the late Alfredo Lim over him in the race for Mayor of Manila. For his, Moreno stuck with the local party “Asensyo Manilenyo” instead of affiliating himself with the ruling parties PDP-Laban or Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
Once elected as the Mayor of the nation’s capital city, it is impossible for Moreno NOT to have a working relationship with the sitting President. For any local government leader, that working relationship with the national government is important to ensure the funding for various infrastructure projects and the like
To expect him to be a fire-breathing oppositionist while serving as Mayor of Manila is naive. Also, it is wrong to read too much into the “praises” that they gave to one another. There’s no there there.