By Lance Arevada

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla came over the defense of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday amid criticisms of the actor-turned-politician’s “provocative poses” in pictures taken when he was a matinee idol in the 1990s.

In a Facebook post, Remulla said that the photos should not be an issue as he believed the former “That’s Entertainment” star took the available “opportunity for him to earn a living” and lift his family out of poverty.

“He was very young then. I am sure the limelight was quite tempting for a young lad from a very poor background. And why not? The opportunity for him to earn a living was readily available, to not take advantage of such privilege would have been foolish,” he added.

The Cavite governor further stressed that what is more important is that Moreno did not do the provocative poses “while in office as a respected Councilor, Vice Mayor or as the current Manila Mayor.”

“What’s important is that Yorme never lied, did not steal, kill nor did he ever brought (sic) shame to the great people of Manila as a public servant,” he also said.

While Remulla did not name the supposed critics of the Manila Mayor, President Rodrigo Duterte has mocked a local chief executive’s sexy photos in his public address on Monday, asking the public if they want a president with a training of a “call boy.”

“Nakita ko nga sa Facebook kanina lahat ng naka-bikini ang g*** tapos meron isang picture pa dun sinisilip niya iyong ari niya. Iyan ang gusto nyo? Ang training parang call boy. Naghuhubad sa picture, naka-bikini,” the President said, without naming the politician.

More commonly known as Manila’s “Yorme,” Moreno is the only known Metro Manila mayor with such photos on the Internet taken as a young actor, which were already used by his opponents in previous elections. 

In addition, the Cavite governor said judgment on political rivals should be based on their performance in public service, not on the basis of one’s past background.

“Ang paghatol sa kalaban sa pulitika ay dapat tungkol sa kanyang kakayahan bilang serbisyo publiko at hindi paninira lamang base sa kanyang nakaraan o noong siya ay bata pa. Wala naman siya sa kapangyarihan o posisyon noong mga panahon na iyon,” he said.

The governor added: “Hindi tama na tapak-tapakan ang nakaraan, paninindigan at reputasyon ng isang taong wala namang kalaban-laban.”

Moreno, on the other hand, has yet to respond to the President’s recent remarks which the Palace already denied were referring to him. But he thanked Duterte on Tuesday for pushing through with the distribution of cash aid in his city, despite the growing tensions between the two.

Report sources: ABS-CBN News