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Mayor Isko Says Call For VP Leni To Withdraw Is Just Giving Her A Dose Of Her Own Medicine

SURIGAO CITY – Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday stressed that his call for Vice President Leni Robredo to withdraw is just a “fair” way of giving his rival a dose of her own medicine, as her camp has been persistently intensifying calls for other candidates to withdraw in the belief that it will make her win against Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“It’s just a fair call. Kung ano ang sinabi nila dati, narinig din nila sa sarili nila. Nothing unusual,” Moreno told reporters upon landing at the Surigao Airport in this Northeastern Mindanao province.

The 47-year-old presidential candidate added that his call is also an “honest” one, pointing out that Robredo’s persistent call for withdrawal only points to the brand of elitist politics that he wanted to stamp out if given the chance.

“It’s an honest call. When they were asking us since Day One, ‘withdraw Isko.’ Sa totoo lang, yan ang daing ng ordinaryong Pilipino. Kapag malaking tao ang nambu-bully, okay lang. Pag ang ordinaryong tao, nangatwiran, bastos o masama na,” said the 47-year-old presidential candidate.

“My question is: ano ang karapatan mo na hingin sa amin, bilang ikaw ay kakompetensya namin, na withdraw? Ano ang karapatan mo? Dahil ikaw ay mataas na tao, at itong mga tao sa ibang kandidato, hindi ganun kalaki ang political alliances?” Moreno said.

Furthermore, Moreno said calls for other candidates to withdraw and casting them to “irrelevance’ in order to have a one-on-one showdown between Robredo and Marcos Jr. also highlighted the “social injustice” that is prevalent in our present society due to, again, elitist politics.

“Alam mo, mapapansin mo yung hinaing ng tao parang yung there is social injustice. Parang ang may karapatan lang magsalita yong malalaking tao o matataas na katungkulan. Pag ordinaryong tao parang wala kang karapatang magsabi ng totoo o mangatwiran,” the former basurero turned Manila City Mayor said.

“Kaya dumadaing yung ordinaryong Pilipino kasi nga masakit magsalita yung mga mapagmataas na tao na katulad nila, yung grupo nila. But, anyway, it’s not for me to demand. It’s just an opinion. Their opinion is as good as mine,” said Moreno.

Moreno’s statements followed Sunday’s joint press conference wherein he dared Robredo to be a “hero” and do the “supreme sacrifice” like her camp has been calling for him, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao, former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales and other candidates to do and unite behind VP Leni.

“The same challenge that they’re giving us, to Senator Ping, to Sec. Norberto Gonzales, to Senator Pacquiao. Now we’re calling, be a hero. Withdraw, Leni,” Moreno said during Sunday’s press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.

“Now, I’m calling for Leni to withdraw. Kasi whatever you’re doing is not effective against the Marcos. Withdraw, come and join us. Join us. That is what we’re saying. Tutal nakapag-nilay-nilay na sila, ngayon araw ng pagkabuhay ng Panginoong Hesus, bigyan natin ng bagong buhay ang ating mga kababayang Pilipino. You withdraw. Do the supreme sacrifice that you are calling,” Moreno said.

In the joint press conference, Moreno, Lacson, and Gonzales affirmed their singular message that there will be no retreat nor surrender and each of them vowing to finish the race. “Hinding-hindi kami magbibitiw sa kampanya. Ang bawat isa sa amin ay magpapatuloy sa aming mga sariling kandidatura upang maging karapat-dapat na pagpilian ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Moreno said, reading from a joint statement which was later signed by the three presidential bets present with Pacquiao concurring in an earlier video call.

Moreno maintained that their joint press conference was not due to their anger at Robredo nor at Marcos Jr. “Hindi ito dahil galit kami kay Marcos o galit kami kay Leni. We are competitors among ourselves. But we try to compete in a very professional way nang hindi naman sinasaktan yung damdamin ng bawat isa.”

Moreno, Lacson, Gonzales and Pacquiao also vowed to defend the rights of the Filipino electorate to select their leader based on their personal choices. They also agreed that they will work with and support whoever is elected president among them in next month’s national elections. #