Isko Moreno is not chopped liver

Analysis and Opinion

By JoeAm

“Who is Isko?” I asked myself, recognizing astutely that he is charging to the forefront of Philippine national political affairs.

Wikipedia has all the details.

Francisco Moreno Domagoso is a former street kid who got into entertainment and parlayed fame into adult work and leadership. You can read the details yourself at Wiki. I’d like to draw some meaning from the patterns there.

He’s 46 years old, married for 21 years, with 5 children. He’s held numerous jobs, some appointments, some elected positions. He’s studied politics at Harvard. He’s in the prime of life, domestically stable, and not really an old-school trapo.

  • Some of my yellow friends have a hard time trusting the guy. Why?
  • What makes him popular as a prospective candidate?

My first conclusion, drawn from the patterns in Moreno’s life, is that he is incredibly ambitious . . . in a good way. He applies himself, creates opportunities, capitalizes on them, and moves forward, ever upward, and does it honestly. His ambition is the stuff that would make any advocate of freedom, democracy, and capitalism stand and cheer. He’s a winner because he’s able to absorb losses, recalculate, and come back stronger.

Why do some yellows not trust him? Two reasons, I’d guess:

  1. He’s been a political butterfly, moving from party to party, and even ran against the man for whom he was vice mayor. He always has one shoulder to the grindstone and his face in a camera, looking good.
  2. He was twice appointed to positions in government by President Duterte, as chairman of a railroad and undersecretary at DSWD, both stints lasting less than a year. Then he ran for mayor and won.

His only apparent brush with the law was being arrested for playing bingo. Haha! A political move by his opponent.

Can he be trusted?

Well, I’d answer that question with a question. Is personal ambition untrustworthy?

Answering, I’d say it is an important job qualification for a successful president. He is motivated to achieve, a “self starter” we would say in business. A rare and valuable trait. He can figure things out for himself. He’s not an order taker. He solves problems.

There is nothing in his history that would say “shady” or “dishonest” or “user of Filipinos”. There is nothing to suggest he owes allegiance to President Duterte, or anyone else.

His mayoral decisions are businesslike. Clean the streets of unauthorized structures (fueling a national effort to do the same thing). Take care of the elderly. Build housing for government workers and the poor. Rebuild the zoo. “Get (Parlade’s) tarps off our bridges!” Conduct an aggressive and creative covid fight (

He can be trusted to produce results.

What makes him popular as a presidential prospect?

Well, that’s a fairly easy question:

  • He’s got square-jawed good looks
  • He works with his shoulder to the grindstone and face in the camera
  • He’s bold (tearing down illegal structures)
  • He speaks well: good sense simply stated
  • President Duterte accidently promoted him by poking fun at his underwear modeling
  • He looks good in underwear

Moreno did not respond in kind to the President’s sniping. “See you in October” he said.

Isko Moreno is his own man. He’s the Philippine JFK (President Kennedy), charismatic, well-spoken, working earnestly to get good results because THAT is his path, and his reward.

He’s not chopped liver.

He’s ambitious.

He owes no one.

He produces.

He’s the driver of his own bus.


Photo from ABS-CBN News

179 Responses to “Isko Moreno is not chopped liver”
  1. kasambahay says:

    uhm, there was a time in the not so distant past that Isko was pro-duterte.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    How are the facebook comments Joe?

    • Karl Garcia says:

      I will just look later.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Conjecture was mentioned many times by you.

        • JoeAm says:

          Yes, and requests for links. There is a lot of mis-information out there and some excellent points made. Take his “Marcos worship”. People take that to mean he’s crooked. No no no no! He believes the Philippines needs to build toward a grand vision. I’m the only guy among 106 million people who thinks he’s right!!

          • Mike says:

            Hello Joe, I just read your article today dated Sep 9 about Isko Moreno Domagoso. I had a overly full inbox that buried it, sorry.

            Now that it’s Oct 13, I’m curious if you have had any chance to consider the latest developments about Mr. Moreno, like his reply to a reporter that if elected he will not withdraw (allegedly falsified) charges against Sen. De Lima, comparing it to the cases against the other senators who were detained (without saying they were for plunder), pledging that ub=nder his term, no senators would be similarly detained.

            In response to a Marcos question, Mr. Moreno said the country should “move forward” which echoed Imee Marcos’ “Move on” remark. This was followed by the widespread backlash (until now, actually) that without acknowledgment of the past and return of stolen wealth, there is no justice and no moving on.

            Mr. Moreno also said that if elected president he would give Duterte a cabinet post which gave rise to speculations that he could pardon the latter to escape possible local investigations into the deadly anti-drug war. Although it’s not clear if such a move would hinder the ongoing ICC investigation.

            Moreno launched a tirade of public insults recently against Robredo in response to her comment that she and Isko are not aligned on many points and that his stance on the Marcoses had in a way influenced her to run as the Marcos issue was a non-negotiable issue for her.

            She expressed shock at his attack as she only had respect for him. Journalist Cito Beltran was disappointed and in disbelief at Moreno’s verbal attack, labeling Isko as a “pirated version of Duterte”.

            With that, there have been more voices saying that Mr. Moreno is neither part of the opposition nor of the ‘middle’, but is covertly both pro-Duterte and pro-Marcos.

            But you did say in this Sep 9 article that you would have more to write about the matter as events were yet to unfold.

            I would also be happy just to wait for you to publish it as I continue to follow your views.

            • JoeAm says:

              I’ve not published a follow-up article and may not. He revealed his true colors clearly, not opposition and not capable of building unity. Very immature guy, even disappointing his loyalists I understand. I’ve commented regularly, and critically, on FB and Twitter. If you follow the blog, you know that the articles are written to promote discussion, so should always read the commentary for deeper insights and disagreements. That said, I suspect his self-revealing remarks were probably the final evidence that convinced VP Robredo to run. There could be no unity with Isko. So the fates have spoken.

    • JoeAm says:

      Cookin’. Lot of good stuff there. I’ll probably do a second article to deal with the issues raised.

  3. black ribier says:

    To choose one from the oppositions Robredo, Lacson, Trillanes, and Gordon, I prefer Yorme the likely winner if there is no voting manipulations. Robredo like Cory will depend on the so called little presidents who will run the day to day affairs of the president. Lacson a tough guy capable of running the office of the president has in the past being pnp chief connected with the kuratong baleleng on their bank heists, the kidnap for ransom me, and the mysterious disappearance of dacer, the secretary of former president estrada. Trillanes could be remembered as the leader of magdalo group on their failed uprising or mutiny at the oakwood hotel who secretely work at the back channel under Aquino administration on west philippine sea disputes that failed. Gordon a veteran politician who only just now redeeming his self a little bit late allowing in the past depending duterte in the so called impunity, the exra judicial killings making him the kaso abswelto. So Isko is a big contender and will support him come May 2022.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    I overheard the neighborhood drivers here saying that hindi naman daw tatakbo si Leni.
    it is wrong that Leni is not known to the Class D E, kilala sya and they also want to know if she will run, puro na lang hindi pa ako nagdedesisyon.
    Maybe in a few weeks of course in a few weeks it is already time to file candidacies

    • kasambahay says:

      it’s pintakasi early on, could well be ‘bloodbath’. the early birds: lacson and sotto already have adverts aired nationwide. bong marcos is precipitating, gordon has yet to put his red cross hands up, duterte officially running as vp with no running mate yet in sight. pakyaw is maybe, maybe not. and peter cayetano is making ambitious presidential noises. as well, isko is gunning the top post, not chopped liver but could be worst, lol!

      mayhap, when the scene clears and all presidential candidates have put their cards on the table, their policies up for perusal – sara could well sprint her surprise candidacy.

      and here’s leni, cool as cucumber, not yet answering the bugle call. yet to make a grand entrance. assessing . . . timing . . . the ber months.

  5. This article quoted on Twitter by NHerrera and in his weekly update by mlq3 is an interesting look at how different groups or Filipinos make political choices:

    It does conclude that most Filipinos (unlike the crowd that tends to VP Leni) might favor Isko Moreno now, one may not agree with that but the analysis is interesting in terms of different voter’s perspectives and expectations..

    • NHerrera says:

      Irineo, the author of that article also wrote about political heuristic. In the early 1960s while a student at Stanford, I picked up the small book, “How to Solve It” by the mathematician-teacher George Polya; even he advocates heuristic in solving math problems.

      Here is a kindergartern-grade heuristic. Call it Heuristic Light in the context of the current blog.

      President Biden is not pure.
      Mayor Isko is not pure.
      Both have some admirable traits.

      >>> Isko is a young Biden and in the vernacular — marami pang asim.

      Q.E.D. [but not of the mathematical kind 🙂 ]

      • NHerrera says:

        * advocates heuristic in helping solve math problems.

      • In real life it is mostly heuristics that are used to make decisions, as data is scarce.

        Joe’s heuristic to favor Isko – and that of many Filipinos – is his mayoral performance.

        My heuristic to favor VP Leni is how she handles challenges and gets stuff done.

        The caveat for both is – how would they handle things at the national level (Isko) and with an inefficient national bureaucracy (VP Leni) plus an obstructionist Congress?

        National level is a different ballgame, harder to get results and quick wins than locally or with projects that are privately funded. Plus those who know the game well at national level MIGHT already be too distant from people’s concerns to really do something. OR too caught up in the way things are done nationally and formalistically, like Mar Roxas when he insisted that Romualdez sign a paper turning over responsibility to national..

        VP Leni has more of a chance to “graduate” to the national ballgame at Presidential level and get results there than someone who has proven his mettle only in Manila until now. Possibly a national position like Senator or VP to President Robredo (including Cabinet post) would be a way for Isko to learn the ropes of national first. The two worked together well in a vaccination drive in Manila, I can imagine a similar tandem nationally.

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks. This blog topic promises to have more and more discussions of substance here. It gets my old heart exercised — I am anticipating more stimulating discussions in the hours, days to come.

        • JoeAm says:

          I’ve not yet compared Robredo with Moreno. This is just my first look at him. He carries heavy baggage of pre-judgment that I think is off the mark. He’s strategic, and tactical. Most politicians hereabouts seem just tactical. I’ve got some new “myths” to explore based on feedback. I’ll likely do a second article to deal with them.

      • isk says:

        “President Biden is not pure.”
        Yes, so true, like Tito Sotto

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Sotto Copy is Sotto copy it is already trademarked.
          Calling a spade a spade that is a spade.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Next time demand all speeches to be edited by wiki editors so they will write citation needed.
            That is unrealistic.
            Everyone would be a plagiarizer if every sentence gets copyrighted.
            Should he start his sentences with as Bobby Kennedy use to say blah blah…so awkward, let his critics try that in their speeches

            • isk says:

              Mr. Karl, the Philippines will be electing people that will lead the nation. The most important criteria is the “character” of a person. Mr. Moreno is a so-so, he’s a street dancer, he can dance with adversaries gracefully. Will the Aksyon Demokratiko party be able to coalesce with Ms. Robredo?

              As to Mr. B’s character… found this online
              In his first year in law school he plagiarized a law review article for a brief he had written, and when caught admitted to it. He tried to explain it away by saying he was not “malevolent” but merely “very stupid.”
              Later, in his first of three bids for the presidency, Biden claimed he attended law school on a full scholarship, graduated in the top half of his class, and had three undergraduate degrees. In fact, he attended law school on a half-scholarship, graduated 76 out of 85 in his class, and earned only one undergraduate degree.

              • JoeAm says:

                What is interesting is that such one-off anecdotes about Biden, the stuff of trolls in the main, have nothing to do with how he’s doing as President.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Joking only on most out of disappointment, but we all must seriously vote because of character, because what criteria did the 16 million use? Character in a horror story?

              • Karl Garcia says:

                @ISK did you use the character criterion
                when you voted for Trump?

              • isk says:

                Mr. Karl, Mr. Trump is not pretending to be someone’s else, he is what he is, unfiltered as he always “tweets” of events happening in the nation and throughout the world. His government policies may not be favorable to some but definitely for the nation. What made you think I am a Republican?

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Was I wrong to think so?

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Looks like I was wrong to assume that you are a US citizen. Oh well I even thought chemrock moved to the states. Not the first time to be wrong.

              • isk says:

                “Was I wrong to think so?”
                Mr. Karl, I missed this one. I posted a YouTube video “Democrats before the war in Iraq”, a compilation of video clips from the Clinton era to Mr. George W. Bush incumbency before. You might have profiled me as such because I tend to be more on the conservative side. American politics is quite interesting just like this congressional hearing on immigration.

              • JoeAm says:

                AOC tends toward the lefter side of the democratic party, along with Bernie Sanders. They argue that America’s capitalist bent leaves a lot of disadvantaged people behind. Clips like this are a dime-a-dozen and contribute to disinformation because they clip out the rest of the interview, the topic, why it is important, what became of the legislation, all in favor of bopping a sincere, bright, rising dem on the head and thus proving that Trump is better.

              • isk says:

                Mr. Joe, this is the coverage of the said congressional hearing on immigration, the narratives of AOC, Tlaib and Pressley

              • JoeAm says:

                Thank you. I’m not following that so won’t watch it. I’ve become very aware of information distortions, which I’ve also used when trolling DDS. The American scene is a battle for truth as much as anything, the distortions fomented by Russian agitations and political self-dealing. Same in the Philippines. It’s hard to build when all the energy is going into tearing down.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                @ISK TY for the reply and links

            • isk says:

              Mr. Joe, something wrong/off with Mr. Biden’s policies. Lots of inconsistencies, how to be true to oneself is the problem. But I don’t blame him, his advisers could be the problem I guess.

              • JoeAm says:

                Well, we’d have to get to the specifics of the supposed inconsistencies to understand them. My own view of him pre-election was that he was miles above Trump (civil, truthful) but probably mediocre as a leader. He was given a handicap by Trump who would not give him the traditional transition assistance, but hit the ground running with a professional cabinet (not lackeys), and obsessive focus on vaccines. He hit aggressive targets and the US would be substantially healed by now if it weren’t for Republicans politicizing vaccines. Horrible stuff. He got Republican help on big-ticket budget and infrastructure bills. The economy has continued to roar even though Trump said it would collapse. He had the courage to end Afghanistan. He communicates daily, is upbeat, focused, and goal oriented. He has FAR exceeded my expectations so far. He looks like the real deal to me.

              • JoeAm says:

                Yesterday Biden took a much harder position with anti-vax Republicans. The statistics are interesting. Biden’s satisfaction rating has moved up to 52%. About 70% of Americans are vaccinated. Many are upset about the anti-vaxxers putting them and kids at risk. So Biden is building a base of “pro-health” Americans and the Republican pushback is narrowing to the aggressive few.

              • isk says:

                “Biden took a much harder position with anti-vax Republicans”
                There’s a problem with that label. I believe their stand is for individual liberty.
                As to mandatory covid jab for federal workers, it seems the postal service personnel are exempt from this policy.

                “The COVID-19 vaccination requirements included in the White House executive order issued on September 9, 2021 for federal employees do not apply to the Postal Service,” said Dave Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman. “Regarding other vaccination rules expected to be issued by the federal government, the Postal Service has no comment until those rules are issued and we have had a chance to review them.”

              • JoeAm says:

                The laws are complex. The postal service matter will get worked out. The freedom issue is nonsense when it puts others, especially kids, at risk. Thousands are dying unnecessarily because of this nonsense stirred up for political gain. Kids are dying. Look at the statistics and grab a helping of compassion.

              • JoeAm says:

                The disease is a national health emergency. I remember when polio was a national emergency and all us kids took sugar cubes with vaccines. No problem. Kids have mandatory vaccine requirements today. For everyone’s benefit to keep smallpox, measles, tetanus, and other diseases at bay. No problem. The military requires 17 vaccines. No problem. But the ‘freedom folks’ would have covid win when there is safe and effective protection from it if people sign on to make America healthy again.

              • NHerrera says:

                Pondering the elements of the current part of the comments and trying to see my way through the discussion:
                – Biden
                – Trump
                – character
                – policies

                If Biden’s character is not up to par, is Trump’s. Then on that basis re-elect Trump?

                * Biden’s mainly civil, palatable statements along with policy statements and subsequent actions/ policies to date,
                * Trump’s pre-election lies/ gutter-oriented statements and expected policies [a reasonable man may infer from his previous actions].

                Again, on that basis, re-elect Trump?

                In sum, what is the fuzz about? The US was mistaken in electing Biden; it should have re-elected Trump?


              • JoeAm says:

                One of the problems with the disinformation that is rampant today Is that it provides a structure (Trump won and was cheated) that all the dirty data feeds into (Biden’s a cheater) that then reinforces the framing. It’s impossible to get a proper framing when Tucker Carlson and far right republicans are shoveling dirt, and media are loving it. It’s nationalized gaslighting.

              • isk says:

                “Thousands are dying unnecessarily because of this nonsense stirred up for political gain.”
                @ Mr. Joe
                Am not sure if this is for “political game”. There are people from both sides, even health care workers/professionals are hesitant for this vaccine. Could it be for medical reasons? Or could they have immunity already from previous exposure? Will a weekly test or bi-weekly test be an option?

              • isk says:

                “In sum, what is the fuzz about? The US was mistaken in electing Biden; it should have re-elected Trump?”
                @ Mr. Herrera
                I believe those Americans who did not vote for Mr. Biden need to accept this president.

              • isk says:

                @ Sir Joe
                Thanks for the links.

              • JoeAm says:

                You’re welcome.

              • NHerrera says:

                From the link posted by Joe on

                JoeAm says:
                September 11, 2021 at 8:38 pm

                I find one of its paragraphs very relevant and consistent with other reports I have read including those Republicans who at death’s door urge their family and others to get vaccinated:

                Slowly but surely, in recent weeks, the number of vaccinations has been increasing. So why the change of heart among conservative leaders? Reality is probably the biggest reason. Grandmothers dying, hospitals overrun, and young people getting sick have a way of combatting the nonsense on the web. Eventually, conservative leaders will not want to bear responsibility for the pain of so many. Now that the COVID casualties are piling up in deep-red states rather than liberal cities on the coasts they are finding their pandemic humanity. And so politics may well be driving the Republican about-face as elected officials recognize that people are dying and many of those are potential Republican voters in 2022 and beyond.

              • JoeAm says:

                I don’t know how it is that 3,000 trade center deaths is so emotionally shocking but 650,000 covid deaths is not. I hold that Trump, Tucker Carlson, and the governors of Texas, Florida, and elsewhere who spew nonsense and the idea that personal freedom trumps community responsibility are mass murderers much more vile than those 19 terrorists. They shot with their mouths. They USED people. They tried to save no one.

  6. NHerrera says:

    My first comment on the interesting blog topic, Joe.

    chopped liver ~ unappealing ~ inferior
    foie gras ~ epitome of elegance?

    Yep, I agree. Isko is not chopped liver. He is more like foie gras — as much as a politician can be called an epitome of elegance. The rather close-minded, purist yellows may cringe at the use of the phrase. But it is my opinion.

    • JoeAm says:

      Yellows don’t trust him. They feed the “Marcos worship” line into their discussions like trolls and consider him a showman of no substance. I look at what he said about Marcos (the importance if having a vision to build into) and at what he’s done (a whole lot) and can’t relate to the yellow view.

  7. mundski says:

    I’ve been thinking of Isko Moreno too, but the question is, if he wins presidency, will he attack the corrupt and the real trapos as viciously as a true opposition would? He can build the bridges, schools and dismantle the illegal, but will he be willing to be ruthless. What is the track record of Isko Moreno on corruption and corrupt public officials? Or is he more “trapo” on that matter? We need a president who will lead the charge against the corrupt.

    • NHerrera says:

      My one PH centavo worth of comment. I have not researched it. But my sense of it from what I have already read about him is that it is at worst a 50-50 thing, with my gut telling me that if he does become President, he will leave it better than when he entered it. Which is saying a lot, going by what we have had the last five years.

      Of course, why not get the best one to start with and avoid the uncertainty. That is not debatable … if we can get the best one there. This is an academic opinion — a one centavo worth.

    • JoeAm says:

      That zeroes in on his biggest ‘flaw’ to me. Does his national vision include justice, or will it continue the acceptance of the corrupt in mainstream political life? Does his appreciation of Marcos as a guy with vision for development signal he will be soft on prosecuting EJKs?

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Unless the ombudsman and some deputies get impeached or quo-warrantoed ans sandigan bayan has mote associate justices to divide the backlog.
      Questioning the corruot will just be barking up the right tree.

      • kasambahay says:

        if you mean isko, he has barely said a word vs erap. they used to share a city hall together, working side by side. as mayor, erap did not run manila as well as could be, isko as erap’s vice is privy to that. and when isko took over erap’s job, isko’s main concern was was not the past and erap got lucky, his mistakes swept under the carpet, methink.

        years ago, isko did make fun of the rubbish thrown over sa manila bay, for erap to pick up later in an apparent pakitang tao: erap in a pretend clean up drive. isko’s clean up drive pretense was better though, manila beach was beautified with tones of dolomite. and duterte agreed with isko’s effort, manila beach is beautiful, sabi.

        • kasambahay says:

          heto si isko, impersonating his predecessor’s antic in cleaning up manila bay. only for isko to up the ante with dolomite.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            I thought Dolomite would be isko’s downfall, after the days of rain the Dolomite rage waned.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Me mga study nga naman na nagsasabi na nakakapigil ito ng pagbaha, etc.
            pero yung mental wellness na sinasabi ni Roque, mamasyal ka na lang sa Luneta na kahit walang pera, di ka nga lang makakauwi.

            • kasambahay says:

              dapat nagtanim ng lang ng mangroves, in place of dolomite. mangroves is healthier for the environment, better for the fishes too and act as flood deterrent.

              the air in roxas blvd would have been made fresher by the mangroves, removes carbons in the atmosphere and gives us oxygen. then we can have boardwalk among the mangroves, the hot temperature made cooler. good for our mental health to see greeneries around, and not the blinding glare of dolomite that gives eyestrain, inhaling dolomite dust kicked up by sea breeze can give lung problems too.

              dolomite is high maintenance, always being washed away each time there is storm and king tide, needs constant cleaning and topping up too. money down the drain.

              mangroves once planted, can thrive on its own and kinder to the hip pocket.

  8. A few more bits and pieces about Moreno here:

    “Moreno also defended Duterte by saying he is the only chief executive who really confronted the drug problem and even went after drug syndicates.”


    “The country’s most popular local chief executive as of today, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno admitted in one of his interview that he is trying to imitate the tough leadership of his idol, the former President of the Philippines, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos.

    Mayor Isko Moreno revealed in an interview with Ricky Lo that he idolized former President Ferdinand Marcos. Moreno who is a former scavenger revealed that during his younger years, several decades before he joined politics, somebody inspired him.”


    “Natutuwa kami dahil (we are very happy because) they went beyond, to really make more vibrant Manila, we support DENR,” Domagoso said.

    Reacting to claims of some groups that the crushed dolomite boulders being overlayed along the Manila Bay beach is dangerous to the environment, Domagoso said that it is not for him to say the same and that he trusts that the DENR knows better on the issue.


    “When PCIJ queried him later about the amount, he replied in part by sending copies of his quarterly income-tax return and a manager’s check, which showed he had paid P9.7 million in taxes for an income worth P50.55 million.

    In other words, thanks to his campaign’s multimillion-peso leftover, Domagoso profited from his participation in the polls by as much as P40.9 million, net of tax. This is three times more the net worth he declared of having in 2014, which was 12.9 million.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook


    • JoeAm says:

      Link 1, war on drugs. Thanks. Saved me the time of researching it. The end of the article gets to his context. Manila’s barangays are substantially cleaner and he attributes the success to the drug war. He also defends cops. That was Jan 2020. I’m wondering if his view has changed.

      Link 2, the Marcos adoration. As I read it, he is/was looking for his own leadership persona, so looks at how Marcos, Lee Kuan Yew, and even Ninoy Aquino developed their ‘big picture’ visions. For Marcos, he thought his infrastructure development plan was what is needed today. He includes Duterte’s firm ‘big dog’ leadership in the models he is using. The upside is that big picture leadership is exactly what the Philippines needs.

      Link 3, Dolomite beach has to be viewed hand in hand with his fist bump with Duterte officials, a mayor recognizing that he can’t fight Duterte and achieve much, so he picks his moments to show alignment.

      Link 4, Campaign finances = profits. Isn’t that common? It is not illegal, is it? He was transparent? Paid his taxes?

      • JoeAm says:

        I tend to view Moreno as a thinker or schemer who wants to be a powerful leader. Rather a young Kobe Bryant figuring out how to dominate. I don’t see evidence of the darker elements of corruption, theft, or brutality in his work product. I see boldness, effort, mistakes, and results.

      • 1. Makes him no different from other Duterte enablers who look the other way while thousands have been/are being killed so they can have ‘cleaner’ barangays. Outright lie on Duterte being the only chief executive that confronted the drug problem. Check the Aquino administration’s record of arrests and drug busts vs Duterte’s.

        2. Marcos as a visionary is a smokescreen for all the failings of his government on the economic front. Volumes have already been written on how he drove Philippine economy to the ground. The Philippines’ accumulated billions in debt to finance his infrastructure plan, most of which went to his own and cronies’ pockets. That Moreno has fallen for the Marcos propaganda only shows he lacks a critical mindset and disposition to assess fact from fiction.

        3. The fist bump is playing safe. The dolomite beach approval is playing dumb.

        4. Check out the table in the link. The total of all candidates’ excess campaign funds cited by PCIJ in the report is P69 million. Of that, P50 million goes to Moreno. What does that tell us?

        • JoeAm says:

          1. Yes he’s vulnerable on this.
          2. That’s the common view which I think misstates his process, to build his own management style with a vision of what the nation should be. It does not consider that he also considers Ninoy and Noynoy Aquino as useful models, and Lee Kuan Yew. And Duterte.
          3. Not from his perspective.
          4. I’d have to explore it to understand. My premise on all this is that there is a reason and we ought to look for it rather than go to a conclusion that fits a pre-determined bias.

  9. Test. My comment is not getting through.

  10. I think akismet was dropping my earlier attempts because it included several links to news articles indicating the following :

    1. Last July 2020, Moreno tagged Robredo’s criticisms on Duterte’s drug war as unfair. He considers Duterte as the only “chief executive who really confronted the drug problem and even went after drug syndicates.”

    2. In a 2019 interview, he admitted “that he is trying to imitate the tough leadership of his idol, the former President of the Philippines, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos”.

    3. In September 2020, he expressed “ full support to the national government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in its implementation of the Manila Bay beach nourishment project that includes the overlaying of “white sand” in the area. He dismissed claims that the dolomite overlay on the beach poses an environmental hazard, saying that it is not up to him to say so.

    4. When Moreno ran for senator in 2016, he received the highest amount of campaign contributions among the lot of contenders totalling P170 million. Of this amount, his campaign spent some P120 million and had P50 million left in excess.

    “When PCIJ queried him later about the amount, he replied in part by sending copies of his quarterly income-tax return and a manager’s check, which showed he had paid P9.7 million in taxes for an income worth P50.55 million.

    In other words, thanks to his campaign’s multimillion-peso leftover, Domagoso profited from his participation in the polls by as much as P40.9 million, net of tax. This is three times more the net worth he declared of having in 2014, which was 12.9 million.”

    All the info above can be verified online.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Thanks for the insights Cha.
      I hope you and the others come back here in top of your fb visits to Joe’s page.
      Mary, Will, Vicara,stbpaul, Bauwow, etc.

    • NHerrera says:

      Re Karl’s reply, ditto here and my thanks.

      I would like to add the following.

      A = Isko the “virgin” politician.
      B = Isko becoming President and evolving/ doing for the country more along the line of the latter part of the range — Duterte, Marcos, Le Kuan Yew, Pnoy.
      A1 = a way station to achieve B.

      Do we have

      A —— A1 —— B? or
      A —— A1/B?

      Forget, the math symbolism, if you wish [a habit of mine, not easily put aside. 🙂 ] In other words, is he like some in history, not confined to the Philippine setting, strategic, and employed tactics consciously evolving himself to that way station A1 so he gets to B better than otherwise and then works along the lines of Pnoy/ LKY? Or there is no grand strategy in his evolution to A1 — A1 is what he will be when he gets to B, that is, working more, when he becomes President, along the earlier part of the range mentioned above [a most scary thought]?

      I am abstracting or generalizing what the discussion in the blog has gotten to, this far — from my perspective — with JoeAm acting to me like the Papal’s Devil’s Advocate in reverse. I too tended that way, from the comments I have made above. I will say this firmly, though — if Leni offers herself as a Presidential Candidate and so too Isko, I will vote for Leni.

      Let us go on with the discussion, shall we?

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Only you have the K to use QED here

      • Thank you, Karl and sir NH. I was going through my newsfeed early this morning and Joe’s article showed up from a friend’s repost. My friend, mind you, is quite politically active and so I took notice.

        After reading the article, I thought I’d do a little digging and find out more about this potential presidential candidate for myself. In election parlance, I guess one can say I was vetting candidate Isko. I spent a good hour or so looking online and what I shared earlier are those that stood out the most for me. I thought I’d share them here as the information may possibly help voters in their own decision making process come election time. Or better still, encourage people to enquire and do their own research before committing to support a particular candidate.

        If it comes to a choice between Bong Go and Moreno for president , hell yeah!, I’d say go for Isko. But headhunter me says wait till we see and vet the rest of the line-up.

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks again for sharing, Cha, and I agree with you on your note immediately above.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Come back for more of your head hunting skills do a write up on Trillanes, The guy you abhor Tito Sotto as a follow up to your article before.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Tito Sotto is the one you abhor not Trillanes…

            • kasambahay says:

              I’ve seen the advert of lacson and sotto’s pairing. sotto was blinking like he did not know where he was, and made a mistake of turning his back to the camera too. methink, his backside view was nightmarish, his jeans so brunched up, so wrinkled, like his gluts muscles seems to be flaccid and hanging loose no amount of massage therapy can tighten. maybe he needs a brazilian butt job, tighten those loose muscles, lol!

              sotto has millions and can afford to look better, have better fitting jeans, a pair of jeans that dont make him look decrepit and has been, so wrinkly and needed to be filled up. or sotto could do with a shirt not tucked in, to cover up the aging tell tale view of his not so flattering backside.

              like what president joe biden is doing. much older than sotto, biden dresses well. you’ll never see biden’s wrinkly backside, his jacket did a fantastic job. power dressing.

              • NHerrera says:

                Biden is trim and fit and has sartorial elegance compared to Trump, I say — but I am doing Biden a great disservice by comparing him to Trump. I commend Biden’s tailor.

          • Haha, Karl. Sotto might have been dislodged by Roque from the top list of people I find abhorrent. 😬

            I’ve been reading up on Lacson actually today. Maybe I’ll share some highlights too when I’m done.

  11. says:

    I would agree to a Robredo-Moreno tandem if it is the team to beat

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  12. Karl Garcia says:

    Speaking of chopped liver.

  13. Micha says:

    So there’s been no opinion/political backlash from the madlang pipol on Rodrigo’s decision to run as VP?

  14. Juana Pilipinas says:

    OOT – I know Karl talked about missing Mary Ann here. I just found out that she passed away on February 03, 2017. I have not been on FB since 2016 so I was going to say “hi” to her.

    Heartbroken. I should have checked on her. I am a lousy friend.

  15. NHerrera says:

    The discussion here mentioned anti-vaxxers. President Biden’s recent mandate on vaccines seems to be one of those actions timed well. Of course, there is the knee-jerk reaction of the Republican officials, and some non-Republicans saying the mandate should have done much more.

    I have a feeling it was planned that way. First, Biden repeatedly tried the soft approach, then when the covid infections got worse in the red states, especially in Florida and Texas, he used the hammer.

    The interesting thing is that the business groups mostly welcomed the mandate. Here is an example:

    … in Houston, where Harvey heads the city’s largest business group, employers took the news in stride.

    “I have not heard from my members today, which is interesting. I think the reason is what he announced is so in line with the conversations we’ve been having,” Harvey, the chief executive officer of the Greater Houston Partnership, said Friday. “This will come as a relief to the business community, to have an order that requires all of them to move together.”

    In a democracy such as the US, a leader has to act to a crisis, but the action should not be precipitate, especially in the US setting and the current one of high division. The soft-touch then the hammer was the right approach. Unfortunately, some more covid deaths were collateral. Using the hammer right away would have had its negative collateral too, and may have included some deaths — say from violent protests.

    In the PH, “aksyon agad” seems to be the norm.

    • JoeAm says:

      When polarization is so intense, someone will complain, any day, any time. I’m amused because Republicans like to refer to Biden as “Sleepy Joe”, when he is the most dynamic president the US has had in my lifetime, achievement-wise. He has good advisers, but he’s driving the bus. Like he is aware his time is finite. He can rest later.

  16. NHerrera says:

    In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, President Bush stated that the “children” of the “same foul spirit” animated the terrorists in 9/11 as those who assaulted the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He said that what the 9/11 terrorists were unable to do to the Capitol, the “terrorists” of Jan 6 were able to do.

    It seems fitting and effective to me that such a sharp “indictment” was made by Bush, a Republican President than a Democrat President.

    Can one draw some parallelism here on what Gordon et al are doing now? A tiny bit perhaps, but mostly not, since the locals are after their re-election or election to a higher office. Bush is not seeking an elective office.

    • JoeAm says:

      That’s good to hear. GW, like President Carter, is becoming a bigger man after the presidency.

      • NHerrera says:

        Joe and readers of TSH: my apologies for the inaccuracy of my note above stamped

        NHerrera says:
        September 12, 2021 at 3:55 pm

        I mixed the words from Pres Bush with those of the opinion writer in the first paragraph. Specifically, the sentence, He said that what the 9/11 terrorists were unable to do to the Capitol, the “terrorists” of Jan 6 were able to do. is my paraphrase of the opinion writer’s word and not Pres Bush’s words. For accuracy sake here are the links to the opinion writer’s article,

        Opinion | George W. Bush’s speech indicts the Jan. 6 terrorists — and his party that coddles them – The Washington Post

        and the Bush’s speech transcript itself which I got belatedly,

        Transcript of George W. Bush’s 9/11 anniversary speech (


        And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.

        When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear, and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.

  17. Karl Garcia says:

    so young pero meron ng trapo labeling ng mga hater.
    I beg to disagree on the trapo label.

    Isko can still clear his name.

    If Trillanes will backout on the VP race, maybe Leni will choose Isk I mean Isko.

    But I read one tweet that suggest Paquiao can fund Leni’s campaign. Nah, Isko would be a better VP than paquiao. paquiao can campaign for leni if he chooses to.

    • isk says:

      Mr. Trillanes is my preferred VP and there’s a need too to fortify the opposition against this abusive regime .

      Here’s an excerpt from Isko’s response to Duterte’s rant.
      “Nananawagan eko, Mr. President, tanggalin n’yo ‘yung mga taong walang malasakit sa kapwa niya. Ako talaga- magkuwentas klaras taco. Anyway, kakaharapin ko naman kayo sa Oktubre.”

      Duterte will be filling soon for VP position next month.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Trillanes too is my preferred VP.
        If ever he backs out he must run for the senate and position for the Blue Ribbon chairmanship.

        • isk says:

          Yes, I agree. If this happens, Mr. Martires will be forced to release Duterte’s SALN.

        • kasambahay says:

          trillanes is also my preferred vp, he maybe an angry young man but his anger is geared at the right direction.

          being admirer kasi of marcos, I’m thinking that maybe isko is duterte’s plan b, as both are marcos admirers. marcos has cronies, duterte as well, isko’s is maybe in the offing. isko has grand plans for our nation kuno, and may look back to the distant past to borrow some of those nagawa ni marcos,

          I hope isko’s grand plans includes not just himself and those around him, but our people as well both rich and poor. and I seriously hope his grand plan is not aligned with what china wants. his grand plans of what he will do to our nation; maybe, just maybe, our people want not his grand plans but micro plans that get them steadily from day to day, not a grand plan that bagsak kaagad, done in one go and impatient to get to destination. many may well be left behind.

          I can accept trillanes flaws, warts and all; not so sure about isko. as vp elect kasi, kayang harangin ni isko si president elect leni on the sly and erode leni’s confidence little by little, until . . .

          it’s not what isko said, but his deeds that got me doubtful.

          anyhow, I’m just a voice.

    • NHerrera says:

      Election strategy. This is interesting — Democrats are motivating their voters by bringing the scary “spirit” of Trump in California, Virginia, and New Jersey where statewide elections will be held this year.

      Different strokes to different folks. What kind will be used in PH’s 2022 election? Wanted a diviner.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Conspicious by his absense is LCX.
        Was gonna ask him about the California recall.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          He must have thought this is all about Isko, hope he is ok.

          • NHerrera says:

            I hope so too. Or he is out there among Gov. Newsom followers? Or protesters 🙂

            Lance, I sense, is a voracious, fast reader so the comments will tell him they are not confined but related to Isko. My comment above on California and the link would have triggered a comment from him.

      • NHerrera says:

        The final No vote to recall Cal Gov Newsom vs Yes vote is almost 2 to 1. This shows the value of strategy. Democrats using the strategy of voting against Trumpism as a primary issue rather than defending why Newsom should stay seem to have worked well and bodes well for the Dem. Strategy is king in this instance. Can PH learn from this? That is, being clear-eyed about the optimal strategy to use for 2022.

        Karl, trying to draw out Lance, to counter my view, a parroting of what I read partly. 🙂

        • JoeAm says:

          99% of Americans wanted the US out of Afghanistan and how it was accomplished is of little concern. Some 70% of the population is vaccinated and getting irritated at people who won’t ge vaccinated. The Republicans and tabloidian media are making noise but Biden speaks the loudest because he holds the popular view. Same in California. Republicans made a lot of noise but got crushed. Nonsense is the Republican party these days. I hope they either wake up or get crushed.

          • NHerrera says:

            I tend to that view. I have no strong feelings about the historical cycle, but it may just be that the probable hope of wrenching the House and the Senate by the GOP in 2022 may not happen — for the good of the US and the consequent good effect (?) on our patch of the world. Biden and his Team may just be the better strategist-tacticians than the GOP Team which is basically Trump’s ego-based strategy-tactics.

            P.S. The much ado about the handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Covid on the rise because of vaccination (but now reversing because of GOP anti-vaxxers mellowing and Biden using his power over federal organizations) happening as they did early is good timing. Good tactics?

  18. NHerrera says:

    I posted the following infographic in Twitter, but reproducing it here in more polished form because I am not limited to a number of words in that single tweet:

    This new Covid Alert System which is supposed to be pilot-tested in Metro Manila makes sense to me, but

    – Will people understand?
    – Regarding the change in area classification, how often will this be done, and will people/businesses be given preparation time to plan their activities?
    – Will LGUs be able to handle it?
    – With 28% test positivity, will the metrics used to reclassify alerts in the different areas — cases, hospitalization rates — work?

    I believe, upon further pondering, as others do, that the system which certainly has merits seems untimely until the level of cases, hospitalization rates have gone down [it has not with Delta rampant] and testing has increased/ improved and the positivity rate has gone down close to 5%. The required reclassification in the different areas, as we move forward, will not be effective as the situation stands. Confusion and frustration will result.

    • NHerrera says:

      I was listening to Sec DTI Lopez and MMDA Chair Abalos explain on TV Patrol S.R.O. as interviewed by Alchico and Bigornia. Sec Lopez/ Ch Abalos:

      – Alert Level 4 will be imposed Sep 16-30 in NCR on a pilot-basis
      – Effectively, the current MECQ level in NCR is equivalent to the new system Alert Leve 4
      – But with 10% indoor dining to those fully vaccinated, 30% al-fresco dining allowed
      – Travel and purchase of essential goods, medicine, food allowed
      – Lockdown of specific areas — street, apartment, house will be imposed on clustered cases; the mechanism for food delivery will be made to those affected
      – Guidelines to LGU’s well be firmed before Sep 16 (meaning tomorrow?)

      This may not be an accurate rendition. Please wait for more firm guidelines by tomorrow (evening, I suppose).

      • kasambahay says:

        methink, all ncr mayors should jump quickly on board and be info frontliners. info is vital, the sooner citizens are made to understand the new system, the better for everyone, the sooner we can all learn to live safely with covid and revive our sinking economy.

        first and foremost, bakuna para sa lahat muna. in denmark, 80% ang mga bakunados at binukasan ang borders nila, restos, businesses, schools, etc. bakunados can still get sick, but wont die, hospital stay is shorter (less medical bills to pay) and most dont need ventilators. that’s a lot better than having to pay hefty med bills and planning funeral as well: doble ang gastos.

        I hope that with the new guidelilnes, mayors wont play dumb, the way they did with pharmally. the non existent business and subsidiaries thrive under the mayors noses, the bodegas and hoards of ppes located sa mga jurisdictions mismo ng mga mayors and yet, halos none of the mayor said a thing about it. keeping their heads under the radar baga, at walang pakialam, lol!

      • JoeAm says:

        Thanks. It gives consideration to the vaccinated, an incentive if shots are available. It has food in the plan. We can hope for the best.

  19. Dean says:

    Bravo Joe. Short, concise and to the point.

    And I agree on all points.

  20. Karl Garcia says:

    After the Gonzaga interview with BBM, the dinner of Isko and BBM resurfaced.

    Good thing I am not a politician, I may had pictures taken with some others may or may not abhor.

    Plus I already mentioned Aguirre is a distant relative and was once my lawyer and chances are we had a picture together, again good thing I am not a public figure.

    • JoeAm says:

      It struck me this morning that such one-off incidents are blown way out of proportion by trolls, advocates, and a sensationalist press. The trick is getting them back in the bag once they are out.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        People forget then people remind then people forget again.

        • kasambahay says:

          we forget? that’s why we have pictures to remind us, history to remind us of the past too, memories to recollect and remember. though there is move to whitewash the past, a push to rewrite the past too: the unpalatable made palatable, the killers and berdugos made heroes and saints. lest we forget.

  21. LCPL_X says:

    NH, karl, et al.

    Sorry for the absence. Having some tech issues here, seems my days as Luddite are numbered. Says WordPress doesn’t support my browsers any longer, and I can’t update my browsers as I have a mid-2000s Macbook, cannot log in (but am reading everything). I’m writing on an equally old PC now but I guess with supported browser, thus this post but its very slow. My Macbook however is still good for Googling.. Am between a rock and a hard place now, and might have to finally use my 1st stimulus check to buy me one of ’em new M1 laptop/iMac, idunno– I’m kinda proud not having succumbed to this buy some new tech items every year, but now might have to. Will try to hold out for as long as possible, meaning my posts will be interspersed widely now. sorry.

    As to California’s recall, my heart was set on Ms. Caitlyn, she would ‘ve been our very first Decathlon gold medalist as governor. And we’ve had good luck with athletes and actors in that position.

    NH, you’re right re strategy. But the big issue was the amount of candidates. So the win goes to the Democrats again for requiring such a low bar to be included on the ballot, thus this chaos of names below. The lesson is too much choice makes people dumb. the GOP should’ve picked their champion and focused. Larry Elder was for the Trumpists, for the regular GOP guy there were ex-mayors and businessmen, but no one backed by regular GOP really , so of course in deep Dem California, a Larry Elder would’ve been defeated, especially with the abortion stuff going on in Texas, and Florida’s COVID19 crisis in the news. No Californians want any part of that mess.

    But I still think Ms. Caitlyn would’ve made a damned good governor, which opens up his daughters and adopted daughters (officially or not, i dunno) to politics, which means Kardashians vs. Trump in 2024, but my hopes were averted, maybe for the greater good, wisdom of the crowd crap.

    I would ‘ve definitely kept up with the Kardashians had Ms. Caitlyn won. Oh well…

    >>> As for Isko, i was just rereading the original Foundation trilogy, none of that 1980s sequels and prequels stuff, so the Second Foundation had this description of Bail Channis, which reminded me of Isko; and in many ways IMHO this was what Asimov’s Foundation trilogy was all about. His heroes, protagonist always fit that description i realized. Psychohistory revolved around these types. The Philippines needs these types.

    Thus also Isko. My only counter is that Inday Sara is the Mule. 😉

    OK, i’ll sign off now, but know that i’m reading, just not commenting much, will probably end up buying a new laptop or iMac. But that would go against Salvation by Austerity principle i try to live by. it’s a dilemma, NH. We octogenarians have to balance, but you have your new Kindle. So maybe I can splurge a little. These checks are just waiting to be spent after all, how can this economy be stimulated if I’m not buying stuff w/ my stimulus checks. Which goes against Ecological Economics, Which means i’ll just be another Dean de la Paz, buying and growing the economy until the world burns– the horror, the horror.

    But if civilians with less training can be in space, I guess we’ll not need the world any more. Which means we should just keep on growing the economy til kingdom come. what’s Isko’s stance on this, by the way? and is he a match for Inday Sara?

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Time to succumb to planned obsolescence and upgrade.

    • NHerrera says:

      Lance, good to know you are ok, but not good to know that your cyber gadgets are not ok anymore relative to WordPress. There are PCs out there ~ USD500 or less that will do the job. But I suppose you have to choose one that will be good enough for years to come. Decisions, decisions. Harder gadget decision than settling on the Ms. Caitlyn decision. 🙂

  22. madlanglupa says:

    By this time and in a space of few days, the man called Yorme has just pissed away his credibility as he reveals his leanings to the right and like some of his predecessors, calling favors to the political old guard, and a questionable foreign policy mirroring the old.

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  1. […] Isko Moreno is not chopped liver […]

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