Manila city mayor Isko Moreno recently criticized President Rodrigo Duterte, spokesman Harry Roque, and the national government’s response on the COVID-19 pandemic, citing allegations of corruption and accusations of politicking.

One remark strongly suggested that he plans to file for candidacy in the 2022 elections.

“Nananawagan ako, Mr. President, tanggalin ‘nyo ‘yung mga taong walang malasakit sa kapwa niya. Ako talaga – magkuwentas klaras tayo. Anyway, kakaharapin ko naman kayo sa Oktubre eh,” Moreno said on Wednesday during an event in Arroceros Park.

The filing for candidacy will run from October 1 to 8, according to the guidelines of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

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Moreno was referring to Roque, who on Monday accused Moreno of “politicking” after Moreno called for the national government to buy more COVID-19 treatment medicines. He accused the Duterte administration has been “deaf” to the pleas of its people, and is instead more concerned about attacking critics rather than saving lives. He added that the government has become power-hungry instead and refused to deal with the daily realities of the country’s struggle with the pandemic.

“‘Pag kayo’y binibigyan ng suggestion, iniisip ‘nyo, pulitika. ‘Di po ito pulitika. Bingi lang ho kayo,” he said.

“Ang lalaki na ng tiyan ‘nyo, ‘di pa kayo nagkakanda-ugaga. Kailan kayo mabubusog sa kapangyarihan? Kailan kayo magigising sa katotohanan?” he added.

Moreno further pointed out that the Duterte administration is now covered in controversies, the recent being the P8-billion government contracts for medical equipment awarded to Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He added that this was in stark contrast to how the government treats small business owners, who are already at the breaking point because of the changing quarantine statuses in Metro Manila.

“Kung makapag-Pharmally kayo para kayong family. Negosyante, kabibili pa lang ng stock niya, isasara. Ano ngayon, pulitika ba ‘yon?” he said.

Moreno has so far been mum on his intentions to run for a national government position, despite calls from his supporters. He previously stated that he will announce everything in the right time.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.