MANILA, Philippines—Here’s a note to the likes of Jolo Revilla, Christopher de Leon and Joey Marquez: Government service? That’s a 24-hour job.
This was what former teen star and That’s Entertainment regular Isko Moreno, a reelectionist for the post of vice mayor in Manila, had to say when asked about his message to fellow actors and actresses seeking to be elected in government positions in the 2013 polls.
Speaking to the media at the Fernandina forum in San Juan City on Thursday, Moreno, whose real name is Francisco Domagoso, said that show-biz personalities “cannot have both worlds” by prioritizing performing and holding government positions at the same time, a trend that has seen some sectors denouncing the kind of “celebrity” politics they said has developed in the country.
According to Moreno, both jobs require a lot of time, which means that a person’s hours in a day cannot be distributed evenly among the two.
“(Government service) is a 24-hour job. You have to prioritize things,” he explained.
While Moreno did not discourage future actor-politicians from taking in movie projects if they were elected, he said they should not do this “at the expense of government service.”
To illustrate, Moreno said taping for programs or movies during weekends would be “OK,” but if something happened in his area of responsibility, the actor-politician should not hesitate to leave the movie set and do his job as a public servant.
Moreno also advised fellow actors seeking elective posts to “strive to improve” all the time.
He reminded them that entertainers would be placed under a microscope, unlike “ordinary politicians.”
“The root word of (the word) leader is to lead. We really have to double-time,” he said.
He said young politicians should embrace continuing education to understand the needs of their constituents.
He recounted his own experience when he became councilor of Manila in 1998, despite his lack of a college education. “All the hurtful things, they said to me, because I was not able to (finish) study(ing),” he said.
Instead of shrugging off the criticisms, he said he decided to prove to his constituents that he deserved their trust.
“I went back to school, took up crash courses in (the University of the Philippines) and went to law school,” he said.
He added that in 2010, he was invited by the US State Department to a one-month study grant in America. Later, he said, he applied for leadership trainings in Harvard and Oxford, and was accepted in both.
“This is what (my fellow actors who are elected into office) should do … We have to prove more that we deserve this (position),” he said.