MANILA, Philippines – Was Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno merely telling the truth in defending Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II for being “misunderstood” or was it the maneuverings of a man with his sights on a national post?
Reliable sources have indicated the 40-year-old Manila Vice Mayor has plans of running for senator in 2016, supposedly because of his plummeting popularity in the Philippine capital.
Moreno isn’t the only Manila official with dwindling numbers – Manila Mayor and political powerhouse Erap Estrada has also been suffering the same fate. Estrada earlier last week announced he would be “retiring” from politics after his term as mayor ends. Moreno, meanwhile, has been coy about plans to run for mayor in the vote-rich city.
Bad satisfaction ratings, reportedly due to policies that improved city services but put the financial burden on the poor, are “hard to reverse” when it comes to local governance, those in the know said. The two will be clobbered should they decide to seek reelection in the city. “They’re giving up on Manila,” whispered those who’ve heard the grumblings on the ground.
Moreno and Estrada ran in 2013 under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a coalition between Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
The Manila showdown was one of the hottest in 2013, with Estrada and Moreno engaging in word wars with LP bet and former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim. At one point, Moreno found himself “arrested,” supposedly under Lim’s orders.
UNA is currently being turned into a party in time for Binay’s presidential bid in 2016. PMP members such as Moreno have the option to be “dual citizens” – members of both UNA and PMP. The vice mayor has yet to announce his political affiliations in 2016.
Moreno, who was born and raised in the slums of Tondo, Manila, is known for his masa appeal. Before entering politics, Moreno was an actor know mostly for his “mature roles” on the big screen.
Based on the latest poll by Pulse Asia, Moreno is far from the “Magic 12” for 2016. He currently ranks 16-23 among 59 possible senatorial bets, with 19.6% of respondents saying they would vote for him. But with the elections some 17 months away, who’s to say Moreno has no chance of winning a Senate seat? – Rappler.com