US Ambassador lauds ‘total rockstar’ Manila Mayor Isko

Robie de Guzman   •   July 12, 2019   •   4556

MANILA, Philippines – “A total Rockstar,” this was how United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim called new Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso when they met on Friday.

Kim lauded Domagoso’s progressive policies and leadership style that “bring dynamism and energies” to the position.

The new mayor of the Philippine capital city recently grabbed headlines for dramatically reforming Manila’s congested roads and markets, ordering clearing operations against illegal vendors and other road obstructions.

READ: Manila Mayor Isko orders ‘shrine makeover’ near city hall

READ: Mayor Isko warns to close Manila malls with illegal vendors

Kim also commended Domagoso’s stance on the government’s campaign against drugs. The mayor earlier expressed support for the program but cautioned police to respect human rights.

“We appreciate your approach. You’re dealing with it in a manner that is consistent with human rights and rule of law,” Kim said.

Mayor Isko, who took part in the US State Department sponsored International Visitors Leadership Program in 2011, also shared with Kim his policies and plans for the City and “the core values that influence his mindset and leadership style.”

When asked by Kim on what keeps Mayor Isko awake at night, he replied: “My greatest is for the people to accept that chaos is the norm in the city.”

44-year old Domagoso was with his chief of staff, Cesar Chavez, when they paid Kim a visit on Friday morning while the US envoy was accompanied by Internal Political Chief of the Embassy Josh Morris. Their meeting lasted for nearly 45 minutes.

Manila gov’t to file raps vs SUV driver who dragged traffic law enforcer

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Local authorities of the Philippine capital will be filing charges against an SUV driver who dragged a traffic law enforcer holding on to his vehicle along Laong-Laan in Sta. Cruz when apprehended for disregarding lane marking.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso scolded the errant driver, identified as Orlando Ricardo Jr., 54, who was put behind bars after he was nabbed following the incident.

Reports said that a Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) enforcer named Adrian Lim was left injured after he held onto Ricardo’s vehicle along the streets of Samploc and Sta. Cruz in Manila on Saturday.

CCTV footage showed Lim hanging onto a speeding and swerving gray SUV until he fell off near Laong-Laan road. He was brought to a hospital by responding first aid providers from the Philippine Red Cross.

Ricardo was apprehended by authorities along Oroquieta and Tayuman streets.

Mayor Isko said the driver had “criminal intent” to harm the traffic law enforcer.

“May criminal intent. Nakita ko (sa CCTV footage) winawasiwas niya,” he said.

“Mas mahal pa ibabayad niya sa abogado niya. Pero sa P500 kaya niyang pumatay ng isang enforcer,” Domagoso said referring to the penalty of a traffic law violation committed by Ricardo.

Meanwhile, Mayor Isko commended Lim’s dedication to his job.

The victim, who sustained several injuries, has been discharged from the hospital after undergoing medical examination.

Ricardo, who is currently detained at the Manila Police District Station 3, has denied allegations he also punched Lim, and that he was in possession of a gun during the incident.

Misuari lauds Mayor Isko’s planned Muslim cemetery in Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari has lauded Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for his plan to build a Muslim cemetery in Manila by 2020.

During their meeting on Friday (November 15), Misuari expressed his gratitude for giving importance to the Muslim community when it comes to burial practices.

“It is extraordinary and magnificent,” he said.

According to Moreno, he considered building a Muslim cemetery because Muslims who died would have to be transported to burial places either in Bulacan, Taguig, or in Mindanao due to the lack of Muslim cemeteries in Manila.

“When I came in sabi ko ‘Bakit ganoon? Mayroon tayong Filipino cemetery. Mayroon tayong Chinese Cemetery. Bakit wala tayong Muslim cemetery?’ (I said, ‘Why is it that we have a Filipino and Chinese cemetery but not have a Muslim cemetery?’),” he said.

The planned Muslim cemetery will have its own entry gate and washing building.

“It’s done next year. This one, considered it done. We are just waiting for the funding,” Domagoso told Misuari.—AAC

DILG hits Lagusnilad vandalism; wants sanctions vs vandals

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday slammed the youth group that vandalized the newly-refurbished walls of the Lagusnilad underpass in Manila, describing the act as deplorable.

“Nakakahiya ang ginawang pambababoy sa Lagusnilad pagkatapos itong linisin at ayusin ng Manila City Government,” DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

He said that vandalism is a form of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code.

Malaya also pointed out that there are many ways to express views on social concerns that do not include dirtying up public places or properties.

“While we respect the rights of these organizations to express their views and opinion, that right is not absolute. Ang karapatan ay may hangganan at kaakibat na responsibilidad. ‘Di na nga kayo nakatulong, ‘wag na sanang mamerwisyo pa ng iba,” he said.

“With the advent of social media, vandalisms like this have directed attention to the obnoxiousness of their method rather than the meaning of their message,” he added.

Cultural group Panday Sining has apologized for spray painting protest statements on the walls of Lagusnilad underpass.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who was irked by the group’s action, earlier issued a stern warning against those who will be caught vandalizing the wall.

“Change cannot be realized by the government alone. Tulad na lang ng bandalismo. Hindi biro ang pagpapapintura at pagsasaayos ng mga public walls and properties. Samantalang sa ilang segundo lamang ay napakadali ang pagsira nito ng mga nagbabandalismo. Sayang ang pondong puwede sanang ilaan sa iba pang proyektong makapagpapabuti sa buhay ng nakakarami,” Malaya lamented.

Instead of doing vandalisms, he urged groups to get involved in barangay clean-up, anti-smoking campaigns, and other worthwhile activities.

The DILG official also urged local government units (LGU) to revisit and ensure the strict implementation of respective ordinances against vandalism.

“LGUs should, therefore, see to it that they strictly enforce their laws on vandalism so that vandals will face the consequences of their actions,” he said, adding that LGUs should make use of their closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to identify and catch vandals.

The department also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to apprehend those found violating laws and ordinances.

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