Atienza declares support for Mayor Isko’s plans to revive Manila

Published July 6, 2019, 3:42 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Alexandria San Juan 

Former Manila City mayor and Buhay Partylist representative Lito Atienza said he supports newly-elected mayor Isko Moreno in his vision and plans to revive the City after 12 years of deterioration under its previous leaders.

Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza (Russell Palma / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza (Russell Palma / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

“I am expressing my full appreciation and support to whatever Mayor Isko is doing now. Kailangan ‘yan dahil nakalimutan ng dalawang administration ‘yan. Twelve years of deterioration,” Atienza said when asked about his reaction to the current leadership of Moreno.

In a forum in Quezon City on Saturday, Atienza also hinted corrupt practices during former mayors Alfredo Lim and Joseph Estrada’s time for failing to improve the life in the City, as well as for allowing illegal vendors in Divisoria.

“The mere fact that there was inaction during your time speaks for itself. You succumbed to corruption in the city. Anong naging bunga nyan? Urban decay, mahirap na lungsod,” Atienza stated.

“Corruption is the number one reason why we suffer to urban decay. When a government is not doing anything, 100 percent tumatanggap ‘yan, pero kung hindi sila talagang tumatanggap, bakit hindi nilinis? Bakit pinababayaan? Inaction is already money,” he added.

Atienza, who was a three-term mayor of Manila from 1998 to 2007, also validated Moreno’s claims that he was being offered P5-million bribe daily to stop clearing up Divisoria and allow illegal vendors to operate in the popular market.

‘Divisoria is the biggest money-maker’

According to Atienza, different syndicates are behind the operation of illegal vendors in Manila’s commercial centers including those in Blumentritt, Carriedo, Avenida, and Divisoria.

“Manila’s commercial centers are all syndicated and the biggest money-maker is Divisoria. Iyan ang talagang active syndicate. Mayroon diyan na organization and ‘yung mayor naghihintay na lang,” Atienza bared.

“As long as Isko is working and fighting it out, it means hindi pa sila tumatanggap. Kapag tumahimik, bumalik ang kaguluhan, you can now conclude after hearing what I am saying.”

Earlier, Estrada’s camp denied the allegation of Moreno that the previous administration may have pocketed bribed from illegal vendors.

However, Atienza reiterated that the mere fact of not having an improvement in the City only shows that there is corruption in the previous administrations.

“Huwag mo i-deny ang deal d’yan. Huwag ka lang gumalaw meron ka nang pera. Walang gumagalaw nung six years mo, anong ibig sabihin non? Walang gumagalaw doon sa six years before you, anong ibig sabihin non? I don’t need to solve money and pesos and centavos here,” he said.

High hopes

On a light note, the lawmaker told Moreno to prepare to “age prematurely” during his stint as Manila mayor as resurrecting the City is a hard work.

The former mayor also said that he has high hopes that Moreno’s leadership is different from his predecessors as the new leader loves the City and the Manileños so much.

“Mahirap ang ginagawa ni Isko. Believe me in three years [from] now he will look like an old man. 24/7 ang pressure sa iyo even from your own people. Guard all your people and maintain a strong conviction,” Atienza said.

The lawmaker also mentioned that should Moreno succeed during his term as the head of Metro Manila’s capital, he has a “good chance” in the national office.

“Mayor Isko, tigasan mo ang loob mo, magpakagaling ka at magbubunga ‘yang ginagawa mo,”