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Mayor Isko Issues Challenge to VP Robredo, Bam Aquino To Deny They Initiated Unification Talks With Him, Other Candidates

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday challenged Vice President Leni Robredo to deny the statement of her spokesman that no unification talks transpired between the vice president and other presidential bets, including the Manila city mayor.

“I challenge the Honorable Vice President Leni Robredo. I-deny nyo na hindi ninyo kami pina-aatras. Na hindi ninyo pina-atras si (former national security adviser) Norberto Gonzales. Hindi ninyo pina-atras si Senator Ping (Lacson). Ang tanong ko, bakit kayo lang ba ang may karapatang tumakbo? Kayo lang ba ang may karapatang maging kandidato sa pagka-pangulo? Kayo lang ba ang magaling? E kasi puro BBS eh – bilib na bilib sa sarili,” Moreno said in an ambush interview here after his courtesy call to Gov. Arthur Yap at the Bohol Provincial Capitol.

“Now I issue this challenge, this is on record. Again, huwag na kayong mag-speculate, huwag na kayong mag-spin, deretsahan. Madame Vice President Leni Robredo totoo ba?,” Moreno said.

Moreno’s challenge was in reaction to the statement of VP spokesman Barry Gutierrez that there are no active efforts from their camp to talk with other presidential candidates and ask them to withdraw and join the camp of the vice president. Team Isko embedded reporters were the ones who asked the mayor for his reaction.

““Barry, mag-ingat ka. May CCTV and Office of the Vice President. Barry mag-ingat ka, may CCTV yung bahay sa McKinley. Barry mag-ingat ka, may CCTV at may picture yung bahay sa Dasmarinas Village. Fake talaga kayo kaya ayaw sa inyo ng tao eh. O, saka Barry, huwag ka ng magsalita. Yung amo mo pagsalitain mo,” Moreno said.

Moreno continued: “Barry, tabi ka na sa gedli (gilid, side). Pagsalitaan mo yung amo mo. Pagsalitain mo amo mo o baka hindi pa mabasa? Kailangan nyo ng teleprompter? Kaya I challenge him. Barry huwag kang magsinungaling. Baka hindi mo alam ang ginagawa ng amo mo. Ako challenge ko sa kanila yan. Now tell me if I’m lying then I’ll show you proof.”

The 47-year-old presidential candidate also issued the same challenge to former Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, campaign manager for Robredo, to speak out on the issue of unification to which he was a participant.

“I (also) challenge Bam Aquino. Sige tingnan natin. I challenge Bam Aquino to deny it. I challenge the Honorable Vice President, pasinungalingan niyo kami. Pasinungalingan niyo kami kung hindi kayo nag-attempt ng makita ng taong bayan kung sino ang fake, kung sino yung totoo. Kasi hindi ako papayag na mabuladas niyo ang taong-bayan. Na kayo ay santa pero kayo ay santita pala,” Moreno said.

Moreno deplored the fact that persons like him who came from the slums, worked hard to transcend the challenges of poverty, and became a councilor, vice mayor and mayor, and now that he is running for president, the elite continues to look down on him.

“Kaya sabi ko pag yung tao ang nagsikap sa baba, nagpursige, pinatunayan ang kanyang sarili, dahil hindi sya malaking politiko, dahil wala siyang malaking politiko sa basket nya, wala ng karapatan na mamuno sa ating bansa? Kaya nga ang tawag ko sa kanya BBS – bilib na bilib sa sarili,” Moreno said.

Moreno also talked directly to reporters saying that he is very accessible to media and he never tried to get back at them despite instances of unfair or inaccurate reportage.

“Hindi talaga, ako ba’y may binuweltahan sa inyo? Lahat ng pukol nyo sa akin, kahit anong spin niyo, wala kayong narinig sa akin. With all honesty, I respect the way you (reporters) manage your reports because that’s your job pero ako wala akong kinukubli sa inyo. Lahat pinipilit kong sagutin. Bibihira na ang sagot ko, titignan ko. Pag sinabi kong titingnan ko kasi hindi ko talaga alam yung bagay na yun,” Moreno pointed out.

In the same ambush interview, Moreno also denied claims by some quarters that his criticism of the vice president for her camp’s attempts to force other presidential bets to withdraw from the race had something to do with her being a woman.

“Hindi talaga, real talk lang tayo. Tutal pag kayo ang nagsasalita, masakit sa damdamin namin okay lang. Pag kami nangangatwiran ba bastos na? Na inaapi namin ang babae. Kailan naging issue ang babae? It is an issue of character, character of a person na gustong maging leader ng bansa, character ng tao. Ugali, totoong ugali,” Moreno explained.

Moreno added: “Hindi talaga, wala akong prejudice sa babae, you saw that in my office. Sa opisina ko, bakla, tomboy, babae, lalaki, lahat pantay-pantay, nagtratrabaho sa opisina ng Maynila. Hindi ito gender issue, this is an issue of character, of leadership. Maari ang tao hindi nakapag-aral, maari ang tao mahirap, pero ang tao may dignidad, huwag mung kukunin sa kanya yun. Pag yun ang kinuha mo sa amin, hinulog mo kami sa bangin, sisiguraduhin naming hawak namin ang paa nyo.”

Moreno said with the presidential campaign heating up less than three weeks before election day, he will let the people judge his character. He also appealed to the people that if they want peace of mind and have a chance of a better life, they should choose him as the next president of the country.

“Gusto nyo bang pumanatag ang buhay niyo? Gusto niyo peace of mind? Give me a chance I will give you peace of mind. Maging pangulo ako walang away, walang bawian, walang higantihan just plain peace of mind. Naka-focus sa problema mo. Let’s give our country a chance na magkaroon naman tayo ng peace of mind. Tama na, sobra na ang away ng pula and dilaw,” Moreno said. #