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Mayor Isko’s Political Party Says P203-B Unpaid Marcos Estate Tax Behind Negative Campaign vs “Divisoria” Issue

Aksyon Demokratiko Ernest Ramel Princess Abante

Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso’s disclosure on P203 billion estate tax owed by the Marcos family to the government could be the reason why supporters of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are bashing the Manila mayor in social media over the sale of the Divisoria Mall which houses the Divisoria public market.

This was the conclusion of Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel after receiving reports from groups monitoring the social media that the negative attacks against Mayor Isko Moreno for the sale of the Divisoria Mall were coming from bloggers identified with the camp of Marcos Jr.

Ramel made the statement Friday during a press conference at the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President national headquarters in Intramuros, Manila. Councilor Princess Abante (Manila 6th District) was also present in the media briefing where she discussed the chronology of the sale of the Divisoria public market.

“Dugtungan ko lang yung issue sa Divisoria. Yung lumabas po ito… kasi we began talking about the P203 billion, when we began talking about the truth, yung katotohanan. And Atty. Vic Rodriguez and Marcos Jr. himself labeled this as politicking and fake news. Now, all of these are now out proving na wala pong peke sa sinasabi namin, hindi po ito pamumulitika dahil ito ay pagtawag lang sa isang tumatakbong pangulo na tumupad sa kanyang tungkulin sa bayan at sa mga iniuutos ng pamahalaan,” Ramel told reporters.

“Pero ako naman po nung nakita yung issue dito sa Divisoria, I did my own social media scan and karamihan po dito nagsimula sa YouTube. Pag tiningnan nyo doon sa mga bloggers nila. Okay, I think this is payback doon sa naapektuhan sila nung naglalabas kami ng katotohanan. Eto po nilabas ngayon ni Councilor Abante yung mga katotohanan sa Divisoria, ang pinalalabas nila binulsa yung pera. Pero malinaw po napunta (ang pera) sa mga Manileno, hindi po ba? Ramel said.

Ramel scored the Marcos camp for being too afraid to come out in the open and tell the media their negative attacks on the Divisoria Mall issue, which is the reason why the Marcos camp is resorting to the use of bloggers and micro-influencers as transmission belts for their dirty tricks and black propaganda.

“I challenge everyone here do your own social media scanning, pumunta kayo sa YouTube. Yung mga bumabanat, nagpapakalat at nagpro-propagate ng black propaganda against Mayor Isko about Divisoria are the Marcos bloggers, are the Marcos supporters. So, tingin namin they were so hurt of the truth but now they are muddling the issues using this Divisoria. Ang sinasabi in fact allegations ng lahat, ‘Asan na yung pera? San mo dinala? Binulsa mo no katulad ng P 50M excess campaign funds?’ Binabalik din nila sa mga ganung issues,” Ramel explained.

Ramel added: “So, malinaw na malinaw na meron silang surrogate, at hindi sila, duwag eh. Ayaw nilang sila mismo magsabi ng mga black propaganda, nagmamalinis sila na campaign of unity daw sila. Pero sa totoo lang matagal na silang nagkakalat ng kasinungalingan sa social media.”

In the same press briefing, Abante said the sale of the property was more beneficial to the city government as it was able to use the money for its Covid-19 response. She added that public bidding and proper consultations with the market stall renters were done before any bidding and eventual sale of the property could take place.

“The sale of the Divisoria Public Market is most advantageous to the government dahil ibenenta ito above the fair market value. It’s about time na mapakinabangan din ng mga Manileño ang property ng City of Manila and we say this because ‘yung pagbenta ng property ay ibinalik din sa mga Manileño,” Abante told reporters.

Abante said the sale of the public market and its lot came a long way in helping more than 2 million Manileños who were greatly affected when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Manila and the rest of the country in early 2020.

“For the past 30 years the City Government of Manila has underutilized this property. When the pandemic hit the whole world kinailangan po ng Lungsod ng Maynila na gumawa nang mabilis na aksyon patungo sa pagagawa ng tunay na solusyon para mabigyan namin ng tulong ang bawat Manilenyo para sa pagdating ng Covid19 virus,” Abante said.

Abante, who is also a lawyer, said that if time permits despite his hectic campaign schedule, Moreno may hold a dialog with the affected market vendors to once and for all settle the issue with regards to the sale of the Divisoria Public Market.

“Maybe in the coming days there will be an opportunity to do that. Huwag lang natin unahan sa mga ingay na social media fake news. Yun siguro ang pinaka-importante and arrangements have continued kasi nga since then 2020 pa ito, 2021 ginagawan ng ingay ngayon. Patuloy naman ang pag-aayos at pag aasikaso sa pangangailangan ng lungsod,” Abante said.

In separate interviews in his provincial sorties, Moreno has maintained the Manila city government under his leadership did not commit any wrongdoing in the auction of the Divisoria mall which the private company Festina holdings won after bidding the amount of P1,446,966,000.

In an interview in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro Thursday, Moreno said it was best for the city government to sell the Divisoria Public Market as they were able to use proceeds to fund the city’s horizontal public housing project in Port Area called “Basecommunity” and to buy equipment and medicine for city hall’s pandemic response.

“Wala akong kaso. You can check. May mga akusasyon, but cases did not prosper at all. I survived 24 years of my life in public service. So far wala namang illegal,” Moreno told reporters in a chance interview in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

Moreno had said he would sell lands that have no value, as well as underperforming assets, and use the proceeds as “ayuda” for Filipinos if elected as president.

“Hindi naman realtor ang gobyerno eh. Isasangla ko lahat ng estado na hindi napapakinabangan at isasalya ko rin ang mga assets na underperforming. Kahit ibenta ko lahat, kahit city hall, kahit clock tower, makakain ka lang. The government is not a realtor. I would sell unused lands and underperforming assets. I would sell everything, even the city hall, the clock towers, just to feed Filipinos,” Moreno pointed out.

“Aanhin ko ang mga bato na yan, ang mga building na yan, nalulugi naman. Yang mga bagay na yan wala namang kwenta, hindi naman napapakinabangan ng tao,” Moreno said.

Moreno had implied that he was being attacked over the Divisoria market sale because of his demand for the Marcos heirs to pay their P203.8-billion estate tax debt.#