'Hindi nila ako ginabayan': Isko Moreno says no debt of gratitude towards Lim, Atienza

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2021 03:44 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2021 07:18 PM

MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday said he has no debt of gratitude to other chief executives of the capital city who were said to have mentored him in politics.

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer gave the statement on TeleRadyo's "Ikaw Ang On The Spot: The Presidential Candidate's Interview" when asked to comment on criticisms that he has a tendency to eventually have political tiffs with former allies.

"Hindi nila ako ginabayan. Kinuha nila ako [sa partido nila]," he said, referring to former Manila Mayors Alfredo Lim and Lito Atienza.

(They did not guide me. They recruited me.)

"Wala akong utang na loob sa kanila. Ang utang na loob ko sa taumbayan," he said.

(I don't have a debt of gratitude towards them. My debt of gratitude is with the people.)

Domagoso entered politics in 1998 as a Manila councilor under the slate of Atienza, who called the actor-turned-politician his "protege."

After winning 3 consecutive terms as city councilor, Domagoso bolted Atienza's group and ran for vice mayor in 2007 under Asenso Manileño, with outgoing vice mayor Danilo Lacuna as his runningmate.

Domagoso said Lacuna is his "true mentor" in politics

"'Yan ang tunay kong mentor na hanggang ngayon kasama ko pa rin," he said.

(He is my true mentor up to now.)

Lacuna lost to Lim in the 2007 elections. Domagoso ran as Lim's vice mayor in the succeeding 2010 elections.

Two years after the tandem won Manila's local polls, then vice mayor Domagoso and 28 councilors filed a complaint against Manila Mayor Lim for grave threats.

After his spat with Lim, Domagoso proceeded to vie for his third and last re-election as Manila Vice Mayor, this time with former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada as his runningmate.

Domagoso and Estrada also had a falling out and the younger politician eventually defeated the former president in Manila's 2019 mayoralty race.

"I am happy working with them as long as it serves the purpose of serving the people... Kapag hindi na doon papunta, lumalayo na tayo (We move away from them if they are no longer treading that direction)," Domagoso said when asked to comment about observations that he is a political butterfly.

"Kahit kakampi ko sa pulitika, aawayin ko. Kahit ngayon, nagtatanggal ako kahit kakampi ko kapag pineperwisyo ang tao," he said.

(I fight even with my allies. Even now, I remove my allies from key positions if they become public menaces.)

Domagoso earlier said that he has made peace with Lim, Atienza, and Estrada after he won the 2019 mayoralty race.

When Lim died last year, Domagoso paid a glowing tribute to the late mayor, saying his predecessor kept their city safe.

Mayor Lim left a legacy of honesty and integrity that everyone can emulate, he said. 


Domagoso denied that he has been jumping from one party to another, saying his local party Asenso Manileño only coalesces with national parties.

The Manila Mayor said the first national party he joined was the National Unity party (NUP), where he served as vice-chairman for political affairs.

Earlier this year, he bolted from the NUP to join Aksyon Demokratiko, where he was named party president and standard bearer.

When asked about the possibility of changing parties again, Domagoso said: "Bakit hindi kung halimbawa naman yung mga kasamahan ko sa partido ay personal na interes na nila ang nangingibabaw?"

(Why not if the people in the party I am with are already pursuing their own interests?)

"More than the party, it's the people. The party is just part of it."

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