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Dizon denies he’s with Isko

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Secretary Vince Dizon, one of the officials leading the Duterte administration’s pandemic response, on Thursday rebutted claims that he has joined the campaign team of presidential aspirant Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Dizon said he remains focused on his role as the Covid-19 testing czar and as deputy chief implementer of the state’s action plan in addressing the health crisis.

“I confirm the statement of Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles that I am not involved in any political campaign,” he said, referring to the statement issued by the Palace on his supposed role in Moreno’s 2022 campaign.

“My focus is on the national government’s overall Covid-19 response and recovery, including the country’s vaccination program,” Dizon added.

Earlier in the day, Nograles also belied the same reports that reportedly stemmed from the statements of Lito Banayo, Moreno’s campaign strategist, that Dizon has been assisting in research designs, surveys, and focus group discussions for the presidential aspirant.

Banayo also said that Dizon would likely serve as the deputy campaign manager of the Manila mayor.

“Yeah, he’s been on board but it was not publicized since he still holds a government post,” Banayo said in an interview with journalist Christian Esguerra in the “Facts First” podcast.

Following the comments issued by the Palace and Dizon, Banayo clarified that the strategist would join their team “eventually.”

“As both Mayor Isko Moreno and our campaign team could only hope that we safely transition to a new normal at the soonest possible time, something already achieved in the City of Manila, we respect Secretary Dizon’s commitment in carrying out this crucial task,” he said.

“We support his efforts even as we will welcome him in our team eventually,” Banayo said.

Banayo and Dizon were onboard in Duterte’s 2016 presidential bid.

Dizon helped craft and organize the then-Davao mayor’s “messaging events” during gatherings with sectoral groups such as urban poor and farmers.

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