Isko Moreno's chief of staff exits team ahead of 2022 elections

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2021 12:59 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2021 01:52 PM

Cesar Chavez speaks during a June 15, 2017 press conference in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
Cesar Chavez speaks during a June 15, 2017 press conference in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE) - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso's chief of staff Cesar Chavez on Wednesday confirmed his resignation from the mayor's team, citing an offer from a radio company to return to his radio broadcasting career.

His resignation comes as Domagoso prepares for his biggest political fight yet— his bid for presidency in the 2022 elections.

Chavez, who started as a radio announcer before entering government, said he received an offer from the Manila Broadcasting Company in March 2021.

"I told Mayor Isko about the offer, and my intention to accept the same," he said in a Facebook post.

"So happy to be back to my first love, radio broadcasting. Am done now with my other love, the government," he said, noting that he has been appointed to 12 different posts under 6 administrations.

Chavez thanked the Manila Mayor for choosing him to be part of his team in Manila and said there are a lot of good workers in the capital city's seat of power.

"Never regretted being COS of the mayor, the job I accepted over being Agriculture Undersecretary with CESO requirement or City Administrator of Mayor Francis Zamora, the positions offered to me before that May 17, 2019 meeting with Yorme," he said.

"Salamat Yorme sa pag-unawa, at pagkatataon makapagtrabaho sa Maynila. Napakaraming magagaling at matitino sa city hall. Maraming salamat sa inyo," he said.

(Thank you, Yorme, for understanding and for the opportunity to work in Manila. There are a lot of good and clean workers at city hall. Thank you to all of you.)

Chavez is dealing with some health issues and needs to attend to his family, Domagoso said in online forum Kapihan sa Manila Bay.

"Nagkaroon siya ng (He has some) health reasons. He has to attend to his family," the mayor said.

"Ayoko nag-iinterfere kapag pamilya na. Kaya ka nga naghahanap-buhay para sa pamilya mo," he said.

(I don't want to interfere when it comes to family. We work because of our families.)

News of Chavez's departure from Domagoso's team came shortly after Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial candidate Noli De Castro withdrew his candidacy.

Chavez was part of De Castro's campaign team when the latter ran for senator and vice president in the early 2000s.

Chavez was replaced by Jette Aquino, his former head executive assistant since July 2019.

Sources told ABS-CBN News that Chavez initially resigned as Domagoso's chief of staff to focus on the Mayor's 2022 presidential bid.

"No more," Chavez said in a text message when asked if he is still part of Domagoso's campaign team.

Chavez said he does not intend to make a comeback in the political scene, saying: "I committed to MBC management that I intend to stay with the company until my retirement age."

"With this decision, my family is happy," he said.

The Aksyon Demokratiko leadership has yet to respond to queries on how Chavez's departure would affect their team.