MANILA - Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday said he does not regret using the term "yellowtard" to refer to some supporters of other presidential contenders.
Domagoso earlier drew flak online for calling supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo "yellowtards," a portmanteau of yellow - the Liberal Party's signature party color - and retard. He also made reference to the word "inidoro (toilet)", which was an insult hurled against Otso Diretso senatorial bets in 2019.
"No. I don't regret anything. I was just being honest in answering a question," he told ANC's Headstart.
"If I offended them, I am sorry. I don't like sugarcoating in a challenging time. This is not about Mr. and Ms. Congeniality," he said.
"Pasensya na kayo kung hindi ninyo nagustuhan ang tono ko."
(I'm sorry if you did not like my tone.)
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer made use of the derogatory term when reporters asked for his reaction about Robredo's pronouncement that she decided to run for president next year due to Domagoso's stance in the Marcos issue.
The Manila Mayor earlier said the family of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos should be given a chance to prove that they are not like their father. Robredo has said that holding the Marcoses accountable for the atrocities committed under martial law is a "non-negotiable."
Several supporters were allegedly turned off by the verbal assault against Robredo and the opposition's 2019 senatorial slate, with some individuals labeling the Manila Mayor as a "lite" version of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Sometimes, it may be offending, but it's not meant to offend," the Manila Mayor said.
"When you answer it directly, it doesn't mean na bastos ka na, magaspang ka na (that you're rude and you're crass)."
Domagoso said his straightforwardness may be one of the things that his supporters like about him.
"If they are really my supporters, they are supporters. Kaya siguro naniwala sila sa akin kasi ganito ako: fact-based, results matter," he said.
"When it's real, it's hurtful. Truth hurts... It is not about pleasing your ears in governance."
Domagoso has repeatedly said that he has moved on from the issue with Robredo, adding that his supporters are always free to voice their opinions.
"They can express themselves. That's how you empower people."