Manila public info officer disowns alleged Viber exchange on Isko Moreno’s 2022 plans

June 11, 2021 - 2:55 PM
Isko Moreno
Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno on this photo uploaded on his official Facebook page on June 9, 2021. (Photo from Isko Moreno Domagoso via Facebook)

“Hahahahahaha fake.”

This was the response of Manila Public Information Officer Julius Leonen who was a subject of an alleged Viber message that details Manila Mayor Isko Moreno‘s supposed presidential bid for 2022.

The Facebook page of the Manila Public Information Office tagged the messages as “fake news” and shared a special report where its city chief emphasized his obligation to residents who elected him as their mayor.

“Ako, may obligasyon sa mga taga-Manila. Aking sinumpang tungkulin na pangalagaan ang mga interes ng taga-Manila. ‘Yan ang obligasyon ko,” Moreno said in the video.

He previously said that while he is “definitely running” in the upcoming national and local elections, he has yet to decide on the position he will pursue.

Moreno also said that he is “busy” being a mayor and added that he “would rather focus” on his obligation to the Manileños “until the last day” when he finally makes a decision.

Palace said the Manila mayor was named by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of his possible successors.

Meanwhile, Leonen stressed that the Viber message featuring him allegedly flouting Moreno’s supposed 2022 plans was fake.

“For the record, hindi totoo ‘yung chat na ito. Never ko po sinabi ito and hindi nage-exist ‘yung chat na ito so ‘yung conclusion ko dito, fake account ito na ginawa ng mga troll,” he said in Manila PIO’s special report.

A separate statement was also posted by the office which featured screengrabs of the viral fake Viber chat.


In the message exchange, the person posing as Leonen shrugged off the possibility of another Duterte as the next president and said that they will “announce Mayor Isko’s presidential bid soon.”

“Let’s wait for the right time sa announcement ni Isko! He’s going to announce it soon. Pa-schedule na lang kita ng interview with him after ng announcement,” the account further claimed.

According to Leonen, screengrabs of the supposed posts were shared by Facebook page “Expose Philippines.”