Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso’s oath taking with Aksyon Demokratiko on Thursday afternoon will not push through amid vaccination concerns in the capital, his office said.
Moreno was supposed to take his oath before lawyer Robbie Pierre Roco, son of the party’s late founder Senator Raul Roco.
Aksyon Demokratiko is also the party of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.
Ernest Ramel Jr., Aksyon Demokratiko secretary general, earlier said Moreno already left the National Unity Party, which is allied with the Duterte administration.
In a letter dated August 4 addressed to NUP secretary general and Masbate Rep. Narciso Bravo, Moreno resigned as the party’s vice chairman for political affairs.
“I am very thankful to the party for giving me the chance to serve it the best way possible,” Moreno said.
Meanwhile, a faction within the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has endorsed Senator Christopher “Bong” Go as the ruling party’s standard bearer in the 2022 elections.
PDP-Laban elected president Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi confirmed to CNN Philippines that his group wants Go to run in next year’s presidential polls, with party chairman President Rodrigo Duterte as his running mate.
“In our PDP national council meeting yesterday, it was agreed to present to the forthcoming national convention the Go-Duterte tandem,” Cusi said in a text message.
But the party’s secretary-general Melvin Matibag clarified Go and Duterte are not yet PDP-Laban’s official candidates, saying it will be tackled in another national assembly on September 8.
“Not yet final but they [are] the logical and popular choice of the huge majority members of PDP Laban,” Matibag said.
In another development, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has apolo show-cause order (SCO) it had issued against the Manila mayor over the city government’s lapses in the anti-illegal drug campaign in 2018.
“Since the office of Undersecretary (Ricojudge Janvier) Echiverri admitted the mistake, on behalf of Usec. Echiverri, we would like to extend our apologies to Mayor Isko Moreno for the erroneous SCO issued by Usec. Echiverri’s office,” DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a Laging Handa briefing on Friday.
In a memorandum addressed to the DILG-National Capital Region released on Friday, Echiverri ordered the withdrawal of the SCO dated July 9 against Domagoso, which flagged the Manila city government over its “failure in the Anti-Drug Abuse Council audit” for 2018, saying it was an “inadvertent issuance”.
Domagoso assumed office as mayor in June 2019, succeeding incumbent mayor and former President Joseph Estrada.
Malaya also denied the issuance had something to do with politics.
“Usec. Echiverri has explained that it was an honest mistake. There is no political motivation that must be linked to it. We at the DILG are fair, unbiased, and transparent and we try our best to be honest. We are truthful in saying that when we found out that it was issued inadvertently, we have immediately taken steps to rectify it,” he added.
In a separate message, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the agency’s personnel who mistakenly listed Domagoso’s name in the SCO were reprimanded.
“That show cause order was intended for the past mayor (Joseph Estrada) since the performance audit was for the year 2018 while Mayor Isko assumed office only in June 2019. The show-cause order has been recalled and Mayor Isko does not have to answer it,” Año said.
The DILG chief added that the employees who crafted the order only made an honest mistake and were admonished with a stern warning.
Go, also PDP-Laban’s auditor general, said he should be the last choice for president, while there is no final word from Duterte if he will heed the call for him to run for vice president.
However, last month, the President told the public in a speech to “consider” Go a candidate for the post.
The Cusi-led faction also submitted to the Commission on Elections a list of the ruling party’s newly elected officers.
The list indicated the officials appointed during PDP-Laban’s July 17 national assembly, which the faction headed by Senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III does not recognize.
The required document, called the Sworn Information Update Statement, was sent to the poll body on Wednesday. It was signed by both Cusi and Duterte.