MANILA - Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso slammed critics of his campaign to clean up the streets of Manila as his office organized a string of clearing operations against illegal vendors in the city.
This comes after some questioned the fate of vendors, whose livelihoods are perceived hit by the clearing operations done in some parts of the city such as Divisoria.
While Moreno believed that everyone was "entitled to their opinion," he said leaving the roads at status quo would benefit organizers - who he accused of offering P5 million a day to keep the vendors on the streets.
"Basta ako, kung gusto natin 'yung totoo lang ha, gusto natin tulungan 'yung mga mahihirap, kayong mga pulitiko, tigilan niyong tumanggap ng pera sa mga vendor," Moreno told reporters Thursday.
Moreno's predecessor and former running-mate Joseph Ejercito Estrada had also slammed Isko's policy of ridding illegal vendors, saying such would be "at the expense of the poor people."
But for Moreno, enabling the presence of vendors on the area benefited politicians for the past few decades instead of vendors.
With his clearing operations, Moreno claimed vendors earned more.
"Go to Recto, mas lumakas ang kita at benta ng mga vendor kasi nagkaroon ng public utility access at ang foot traffic dumagsa," he added.
"Sino ngayon ang tunay na para sa mahirap? Yung pinayayaman mo yung organizer?"
Moreno, whose rags-to-riches story propelled him to Manila's top post, wanted city businesses to prioritize Manileños in hiring new workers to improve peace and order in the city.