MANILA - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday denied that he is a supporter of the communist movement after his pictures with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison surfaced online.
Domagoso said his picture with Sison, who has sought refuge in the Netherlands, was taken when he worked as an observer in peace talks between the government panel and communist rebels.
"I am no communist," he said in an online forum Kapihan sa Manila Bay.
"The same picture in the peace talks, kino-crop, hindi pinakita na nandoon din mga military (they crop it, they don't show that members of the military were also there)," he said
The Manila mayor said he does not support the communist ideology,and he "believes in democracy, in equal opportunity."
"I believe ikaw, pag nagsikap ka, pwede mong gastusin, pwede mo pakinabangan the fruits of your labor. You have the right to enjoy komersyo, pantay-pantay," he said.
(I believe that if you work had, you can spend, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. You have the right to enjoy commerce equally.)
"In fact, ayoko too much control ng gobyerno sa komersyo. That doesn’t apply to communism," he said.
(In fact, I don't like too much government control in commerce. That doesn't apply to communism.)
However, Domagoso said he is "willing to resume peace talks with the communists" if he becomes president.
"Mamamayan mo din itong mga ito. Baka naligaw ito ng landas. Di ba dapat kinukumbinsi mo itong mga ito, hindi mo ini-alienate?" he said.
(These are also your constituents. They might have lost their way. Aren't you supposed to convince them instead of alienating them?)
"Kailangan gobyerno, may tenga, nakikinig sa lahat ng sektor. Di ka makakapag-gobyerno kung kayo-kayo lang," he said.
(The government must have ears, listens to all sectors. You cannot have a government that is just for you and your supporters.)