MANILA— Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday hit administration officials who he said prioritized politics over pandemic response, underscoring the need to procure life-saving medicine for severe cases.
"Gamot! Gamot! Gamot ang kailangan ng tao, umiiyak ang mga nanay 'yung anak nila severe, umiiyak mga anak, apo, tiyuhin nila, kaibigan nila di mabigyan ng tamang lapat, tapos ito politika," Moreno said on the sidelines of a ground-breaking ceremony at the capital city.
"Talaga palang ang pinaniniwalaan niyo na lng 'yung poon niyo, sarili niyo, may hangin kayo sa utak," he said, his tone frustrated.
(What people need are medicine. Mothers are crying, their kids, grandkids, uncle, friend can't get proper medicine, and then here goes politics. You really just believe your god, yourselves, your heads are full of air.)
Moreno said this amid the known shortage in critical drugs used for treatment of severe COVID-19 cases, particularly Tocilizumab and Remdesivir.
"Patuloy kaming nananawagan, 'wag niyo na'ko isipin na mayor, isipin niyo na lang akong mamamayan, taxpayer, mamamayan ng bayang ito bumili po kayo ng Remdesivir, bumili po kayo ng Tocilizumab kayong mga nasa ahensya ng gobyerno," he said.
(We continue to appeal to you, don't think of me as mayor, think of me as a citizen, a taxpayer. Buy Remdesivir, buy Tocilizumab, those of you in government.)
He reiterated that medicine, not face shields, are what people need.
"If this medicine can save lives we must focus our resources on things that can save lives hindi face shield. 'Wag na kayo makipagkulitan sa'kin, walang bisa ang face shield, bakit ba yan pinipilit niyo?
(Don't argue with me, face shields are useless, why are you insisting on using it?)
"Attorney, gamot ang kailangan ng tao, ang kailangan ng tao magtatag kayo ng ospital. Isang taon, ayaw ko kayo turuan ng trabaho niyo dahil 'pag kayo napagsasabihan, iniisip niyo pulitika," he said, without naming who he was referring to.
(Attorney, what people need are medicine. You should put up hospitals. It's been a year, I don't want to tell you how to do your job because every time we make suggestions, you call it politicking.)
He said officials should prepare for pandemic response, not for the 2022 elections.
He urged President Rodrigo Duterte to remove "those who do not care for others."
"Ako nananawagan ng buong kababaang loob gusto niyo lumuhod pa ako. Mr. President tanggalin niyo mga taong walang malasakit sa kapwa niya. Anyway kakaharapin ko naman kayo sa Oktubre. Bago dumating ang Oktubre, bili muna kayo ng Tocilizumab," he said.
(I call with all humility, Mr President, remove those who do not care for others. Anyway, I will face you in October. Before that, buy Tocilizumab first. )
"Habang nagkukuwento tayo dito, may mangangamatay ngayon. Mr. President nakikisuyo naman kami, naniniwala naman kami sa'yo eh, tanggalin mo mga taong walang modo at kung sumagot pabalang- balang, parang buhay namin walang kwenta," he said.
(While we're talking here, people are dying now. Mr. President, we appeal to you, we believe you, please get rid of people who have no etiquette and who answer back rudely, as if we are worthless.)
Domagoso said his statements were not out of politicking, adding he was only expressing his frustrations as a Filipino and as mayor of the capital city.
"Di po ito pulitika. Ako umaapela bilang alkalde ng dalawang milyong mamamayan sa lungsod," he said.
(This is not politics. I am just appealing as the mayor of 2 million residents of the city.)
Talk of the Manila Mayor running for president surfaced earlier year after he was named party president of Aksyon Demokratiko despite being a new member of the political party.
Domagoso earlier said he would confirm which post he is gunning for either later this month or hours before he files his certificate of candidacy in October.
The mayor, a former actor and long-time local Manila official, pulled a shock upset of former president and reelectionist Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in 2019. He has since gained popularity for reforms in Manila.
Last month, Domagoso had to delay his oath taking with Aksyon Demokratiko after "chaos" ensued in vaccination sites in the capital city hours before his scheduled event.
The mayor later on said several buses and vans were seen unloading hundreds if not thousands of people near Manila vaccination sites hours after the capital's vaccination website was allegedly attacked by several hackers.
Duterte also attacked a certain Metro Manila mayor in a taped public address last month, saying the local chief executive may no be fit to govern as the said official allegedly "trained like a call boy" and had posted for sexy photos in the past.
While Duterte did not name the offical, Domagoso is the lone Metro Manila mayor who had posed for sexy photos while he was still working as an actor decades earlier.
"Be that as it may, tapos na tayo focus lang tayo, trabaho ng trabaho (what's done is done, let's just focus on the job)," Domagoso said.
"We really have to endure these shenanigans, itong perya, itong barbero, itong barbershop (this circus, this barber, this barbershop). We really have to endure [dahil] pinili natin 'yan (because we chose that)."
— with reports from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News