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US Ambassador lauds ‘total rockstar’ Manila Mayor Isko

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

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.

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Bawal ang epal: Manila Mayor Isko wants name, photo removed from donated food truck

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Tuesday said he has requested his photo and name to be removed from a food truck that served free rice porridge in Andres Bonifacio Shrine on Monday.

Domagoso made the request after a social media user re-posted photos of the truck “Kusina ni Isko” (Isko’s Kitchen) and tagged the mayor.

The internet user pointed out that the truck is contrary to Mayor Isko’s advocacy against “epal” or attention mongers. She also asked whether the food truck was made using public funds.

The Manila Public Information Office replied to the netizen’s query, clarifying that the food truck was not a public project and that no public funds were used.

“These were donated by his friends and supporters, who wanted to put the Mayor’s name on the food trucks. Nevertheless, we thank them for the food they provided during the flag ceremony,” it said.

In a media interview, Mayor Isko said the food truck was not a project of the local government and was only donated by a group of his supporters.

“I thank that group of individuals who are really inspired. Doing so, one thing for sure sa ating kabababayan, hindi sya pera ng pamahalaan, hindi ko pera. Siguro lang gusto lang magkawanggawa,” Domagoso told reporters.

The 44-year old mayor added he already asked the donor to remove his name and photo from the food truck.

“We already called the organization na tanggalin yung pangalan ko… Anyway, discretion naman nila ‘yun whether they put my name or not because that’s their money,” he stated.

“But more than anything else, one way or the other, I’d rather listen to the people na ‘oops may off nga’ and there’s nothing wrong with that in the first place,” he added.

The mayor also suggested the donor could instead dub the truck as “Kusina ng Maynila” (Manila’s Kitchen) or “Kusina para sa Batang Maynila” (Kitchen for the child of Manila).

Domagoso earlier ordered the removal of the names of politicians from schools and hospitals in Manila.

READ: US Ambassador lauds ‘total ‘rockstar’ Manila Mayor Isko

Days after assuming office, Domagoso has earned praises for launching operations to rid Divisoria and other city streets of illegal vendors and garbage. (with details from April Cenedoza)

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Manila LGU presents arrested suspects to the media

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno presenting the three most wanted suspects in the city

The Manila local government unit (LGU) on Monday (July 15) presented to the media arrested suspects, including the three most wanted in the city.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno gathered the media at the city hall after leading the flag raising ceremony. He then presented three most wanted suspects in Manila including a woman accused of extortion.

Accused Melanie Angeles allegedly belong to an organizer called ‘Bakulaw Group’ and was accused for extorting P500-P1,000 from sidewalk vendors for a vending space.

The three arrested suspects are Irwin Pelina who is wanted for robbery with unnecessary violence, Bob Navarro, and Jason Fullantes who are wanted for rape.

Moreno calls on the faction of organizers who extort money from vendors to leave the city.

“Vendor lang ang hindi yumayaman sa kalye. Organizer ang yumayaman. Sinabi ko na sa inyo, magsipagbalik na kayo sa kani-kaniyang bayan. Hindi na kayo welcome dito, (The vendors are the only ones not earning in the streets, the organizers are. I am telling all of you to go back to your towns. You are not welcome here)” he said.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

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Trump eyes reassigning US Ambassador to PH Kim as envoy to Indonesia

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim

MANILA, Philippines – US President Donald Trump is eyeing to reassign US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim as his envoy to Indonesia, a statement on the White House website said.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration: Sung Y. Kim of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Indonesia,” the statement, dated July 10, read.

The statement came just days after the US Embassy in Manila belied reports that US State Department deputy assistant secretary Mina Chang has been appointed as the America’s next top envoy to the Philippines.

READ: US Embassy on reports Mina Chang is next envoy to PH: “Not true”

The White House, however, has yet to announce its next top diplomat to the Philippines.

The Korean-born Kim was nominated by former US President Barack Obama as the Washington D.C.’s envoy to Manila on May 19, 2016 to replace Philip Goldberg.

The White House website said Kim, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, has extensive history of public service at the Department of State, including as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks, Director of the Office of Korean Affairs, Special Representative for North Korea Policy, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. 

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