MANILA — The United States envoy to the Philippines had nothing but praises for Manila's new Mayor Isko Moreno when they met Friday.
“You are a total rockstar,” US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said during a meeting with Moreno, as quoted by the mayor's chief of staff Cesar Chavez.
"You bring new dynamism and energies to your position," Kim said.
The two had a 45-minute closed-door meeting at the US Embassy in the capital Friday morning.
Moreno, who took part in the US State Department-sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program in 2011, paid the envoy a visit barely two weeks into his term.
The 44-year-old actor-turned-politician has been hogging headlines of late for dramatically reforming Manila’s congested and dirty streets, ordering the clearing of illegal stalls, trash piles and other road obstruction.
The US envoy also lauded Moreno’s stance on the anti-drug campaign, as the mayor had cautioned police to respect human rights amid the crackdown.
“We appreciate your approach. You're dealing with it in a manner that is consistent with human rights and rule of law,” Kim said.
Moreno, meanwhile, shared with Kim his policy direction, plans for the city, and "the core values that influence his mindset and leadership style," Chavez said.
When Kim asked the mayor what kept him awake at night, Moreno replied: "My greatest is for the people to accept that chaos is the norm in the City."