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Isko's chief of staff quits, says departure not due to 'infighting'

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Isko's chief of staff quits, says departure not due to 'infighting'
This file photo shows Cesar Chavez, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno's former chief of staff.
File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Cesar Chavez, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s chief of staff,  has left his post to return to broadcasting but denied that this was due to “infighting” within the presidential candidate’s team.

Chavez in a statement on his Facebook account said he took up the offer of the Manila Broadcasting Company which was extended as early as March this year.

"I told Mayor Isko about the offer and my intention to accept the same. Salamat Yorme sa pag-unawa, at pagkakataon makapagtrabaho sa Maynila (Thank you for understanding and for the opportunity to work for the city of Manila)," Chavez added.

Chavez, a former transport undersecretary, joined Moreno’s team as chief of staff in July 2019.

He said he "never regretted" being Moreno’s chief of staff, the offer he picked over two other government posts he had been offered.

"With this decision, my family is happy. So happy to be back to my first love, radio broadcasting. Am done now with my other love, the government," Chavez added.

Moreno, in the Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum earlier on Wednesday, said Chavez cited health and family as reasons for leaving his post.

No infighting

Chavez denied that he left the mayor’s team due to supposed disagreements between him and the campaign team — as reported by Politiko.

"No infighting in Isko’s camp," he told reporters covering the Manila beat.

The announcement of Chavez’s resignation came a week after Moreno formalized his bid for Malacañang by filing his certificate of candidacy on October 4.

Lito Banayo, Moreno’s campaign strategist, also confirmed that Chavez had told Moreno of the offer to return to broadcasting in September. He said Chavez officially quit his post as chief of staff on September 30.

He also said that he was with the Manila mayor when Chavez informed the latter of leaving his team.

"I said that’s a great opportunity and the mayor said it would be a good career move since he really loves being a broadcast journalist," Banayo also said.

He dismissed the report of alleged infighting that led to Chavez’s resignation as “intrigue.” — Kristine Joy Patag

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