' Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler
Even seated on the mayoral chair, Isko Moreno can still act.
On his table at the Bulwagang Katipunan in City Hall, Moreno on Tuesday, July 31, went on a tirade against corruption during a press conference. Like his usual rebukes, he inserted jokes in-between.
But unlike his previous speeches, he shied away from his usual comic reliefs that entailed using reversed or colloquial Filipino words like "etneb (twenty)" and "tolongges (idiot)." Instead, he performed an impersonation of someone he described as "trapo" and an "old politician."
In position, he posed as if holding up a sack of trash, looked to the side as if addressing a director, and said in a deep and groggy voice, "O, itatapon ko na ba yung basura? (Okay, should I drop the trash now?)"
The short act triggered a cackle from the audience.
It was an evident parody of his predecessor and recent election enemy, former president and Manila mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada, whose leadership in the capital was marked by an unflattering viral cleanup drive of Manila Bay in July 2017.
Instead of the former president, however, it was one of his supporters who had thrown a sack of trash into the river, with Estrada approaching seconds later to gather the dregs for photos. Estrada said in the ambush interview with reporters in the event then that, "it was for publicity only, but we are dead serious in cleaning Manila Bay."
Asked to specify who he was alluding to in the act, Moreno said, "Ay, hindi ko alam, basta, basta I am just saying in general," before giving one last holding-a-trash-bag pose with a big smile. (I don't know. I am just saying it in general.)
The anti-corruption speech started with Moreno explaining why he preferred to release funds in his social amelioration program with the use of ATM cards. His press conference followed the signing of City Ordinance No. 8568, which is set to give P1,000 monthly to students in "good standing" enrolled in the Manila-funded colleges by 2020.
He explained that with the system, he would be able to avoid distributing cash allowances himself.
"I think these things should stop. If you really wanted to serve, people will know. People will know without our names there," Moreno said.
Watch Moreno's impersonation here: