A vendor begged Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in front of reporters not to confiscate her wares during the clearing operations conducted ahead of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Thursday.
The local government of Manila previously announced a zero-vendor policy along the route of the procession before the religious event.
However, when Moreno went to inspect at Plaza Miranda on January 8, some vendors have yet to remove their makeshift stalls, which led authorities to seize their goods.
One female vendor was seen begging Moreno to give her a chance to keep her goods as she needed the profits to purchase medicine. In turn, he reminded her of the existing policy to avoid peddling in areas not allotted for them.
Some Filipinos on Twitterverse found the actor-turned-politician insensitive in this particular exchange.
Twitter user @YearoftheMonSy noted Moreno’s responsibility to his constituents as a government official.
“No vendor should beg to a mayor. Government officials are the servants of the public, not kings to be entreated!” part of his tweet read.
NO 👏 VENDOR 👏 SHOULD 👏 BEG 👏TO 👏 A 👏 MAYOR
Government officials are the SERVANTS of the public, not kings to be entreated! @IskoMoreno is shaping the city in HIS vision, not the poor, oppressed, and marginalized peoples' 😤 https://t.co/OdaJSWX7Qo
— Mon Sy #ActivismIsNotACrime #JunkEO70 (@YearoftheMonSy) January 9, 2020
Filipino director Jaime Habac Jr., meanwhile, recalled that his mother also has a similar experience back when she sold goods along Blumentritt.
“Hanggang ngayon, naaalala ko pa rin ang araw na yun na pinaiyak ng gobyerno ang nanay ko. Hindi uunlad ang bayang ito kung hanggang ngayon, mga mahihirap ang tinatarget pababa ng gobyernong ‘to,” Habac said.
Vendor ang nanay ko noon sa Blumentritt. Isang araw, umuwi siya. Umiiyak. Wala ang araw-araw na dala niyang mga panindang RTW shorts dahil kinumpiska ng mga pulis. Hanggang ngayon, naaalala ko pa rin ang araw na yun na pinaiyak ng gobyerno ang nanay ko. https://t.co/h256dOfYPl
— JP Habac (@jphabac) January 8, 2020
Several Filipinos also defended Moreno, saying that the viral video clip was misleading and it did not show the rest of the events that night.
According to the Manila Public Information Office, the mayor eventually bought all her products that night.
He also purchased the rice cakes, flowers and other products of other vendors who violated the zero-vendor policy.
“Binili ni Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ang lahat ng produktong suman ng isang vendor na pinaaalis ng mga otoridad sa kabila ng pagpapatupad ng “zero vendor policy” para sa Traslacion 2020,” the post read.
TINGNAN: Binili ni Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso ang lahat ng produktong suman ng isang vendor na…
How prepared were they?
Aside from the vendor prohibitions, the Manila Police District also banned firecrackers, deadly weapons, firearms and unauthorized drones along the 6.16-kilometer route of the Black Nazarene.
Main roads along this course were also closed. Over 900 traffic enforcers in Manila were deployed to keep the rerouting of vehicles organized.
Overall, more than 13,000 cops were deployed to ensure peace and order for this year’s religious event.
The Department of Interior and Local Government previously assured the public that all the necessary preparations were in place.
“Despite it taking a shorter route than usual, we guarantee the public and the devotees of the Black Nazarene that all bases are covered and all security measures are in place for the Traslacion 2020,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.