Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Friday dismissed rumors that he was President Rodrigo Duterte's "secret candidate" to replace him in the 2022 elections, as the chief executive, who is seeking the vice presidency, has yet to find a running mate.
Moreno was commenting to a news report claiming that Duterte's long-time aide, Sen. Bong Go, lent his chief of staff to the Manila mayor. Go declined the nomination of Duterte's party to run as president.
A report from news website Politiko quoted sources as saying that Go was in talks with Moreno for a possible alliance as the senator's survey numbers are low.
“Hindi po totoo 'yon. Ito naman, malayang bansa. Kala ko ba bawal ang drugs? Ano kaya tinira ‘non?” Moreno said after swearing in some 50 new members of the Aksyon Demokratiko party.
“Kami ay kandidato ng Aksyon Demokratiko na nag-apply sa tao, bilang inyong Pangulo, ang inyong lingkod, at bilang Pangalawang Pangulo," he said, referring to his running mate, Dr. Willie Ong.
Go also dismissed the rumors as "fake news" in a message to reporters on Friday.
Moreno and Ong are set to file their certificates of candidacy on Monday, Oct. 4.