MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno's camp on Wednesday said Filipinos reject family dynasties in politics, taking a swipe at a possible presidential run of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Moreno earlier confirmed he will run for president in 2022, with Dr. Willie Ong as his vice-president.
The mayor's political strategist, Lito Banayo, said in an interview that before joining Moreno's camp, he had dinner last January with Duterte, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go and other government officials in Malacañang wherein the Chief Executive said he would not let Sara run for president in 2022.
Duterte floated the idea that Go, the President's longtime aide and close ally, will run for president in 2022, according to Banayo. The senator said he was willing if the Chief Executive partners with him as his vice-presidential candidate, Banayo bared.
"Sabi ko naman, 'Mr. President, mawalang galang na po. Parang hindi po ... it won't fly.' Yun ang sinabi ko sa Ingles. 'It won't fly', kako, 'na you're an incumbent President and yet you will run for vice president.' Hindi siguro tatanggapin ng taumbayan 'yan, kako," Banayo told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
He instead advised Duterte to find another presidential candidate and that Go will partner with whoever is chosen.
Banayo, who served as chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan and one of the leaders of the President's campaign team, said he would have refused if Sara was chosen as the administration bet for the presidency in Halalan 2022.
"I would have immediately said, 'Mr. President, hindi rin pupwede yun. Hindi po tatanggapin ng Pilipino ang immediate succession sa presidency ng mag-ama,'" he said.
Banayo said he has always been against political dynasties.
"I can understand dynasties in the local setting. Nangyayari 'yan. But if you transpose a local dynasty into a presidential dynasty, eh parang bumalik na tayo sa panahon ni (Ferdinand) Marcos na ang iniisip niya siguro, ang kapalit niya si Ginang Imelda Marcos. Eh hindi pupwede 'yun e, kaya nga nagkagulo-gulo ang Pilipinas pagkatapos eh," he said, referring to the attempt of the late dictator's wife to run for president in 1992 after their family went into exile six years before.
"People will not accept that."
Duterte served as mayor of Davao for over 22 years. Sara has been the city's chief executive since 2016. The older Duterte once served as vice mayor with his daughter as mayor of Davao for three years.
Amid speculations she will run for the presidency in 2022, Sara has said she would only seek re-election as mayor of Davao. Her youngest brother Sebastian Duterte would also run for vice mayor again.
Sara has cited her agreement with her father that only one of them should seek a national position in the elections.
After the Manila mayor announced his presidential bid, netizens brought up his past as a former ally of the President and undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development under the Duterte administration.
Moreno also once defended Duterte's violent drug war, saying criticisms against the country's anti-narcotics operations by the opposition, especially from Vice President Leni Robredo, were unfair.
Some have speculated that Moreno received a blessing from Duterte to run for the presidency, which Banayo denied.
"Wala po, wala po," Banayo said when he was asked if these rumors are true.
The two former allies have been embroiled in a word war. Duterte had mentioned a certain Metro Manila mayor who had posed for pictures while clad only in undergarments, and while he did not mention names, many noted that was Moreno who worked as an actor.
Moreno fired back, saying Duterte had more time to look at sexy photos instead of addressing the country's COVID-19 situation.
The Manila mayor is among candidates being eyed by the 1Sambayan opposition coalition to endorse as presidential candidates. Others are Robredo and former senator Antonio Trillanes.