The change was noticed by reporters covering the regular city council session held Tuesday morning.
Before the change, the photographs of the sitting president, as well as Mayor Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte lined up the hall near the rostrum.
Vice Mayor Duterte said he chose the portraits of heroes who are Freemasons to be displayed.
“Freemasonry remains alive even up to this day. We are celebrating the works of these Freemason Filipino heroes and the influence and inspiration that we draw from them as public officials,” Vice Mayor Duterte said, himself a Mason.
“Let me personally emphasize what I have learned from our heroes — that there is no victory in dishonesty. Reaching our desired goals will never be fulfilling and rewarding enough if we step on others and refuse to respect their rights, if we break the rules, and if we cut corners,” he added.
“As has been taught to us, ‘If you want your work to be square, don’t cut corners.'”
The taking down of the photos follows a memorandum from Malacañang last September that directs government agencies and offices, state colleges and public schools to display photos or paintings of Philippine heroes.
The City Hall has yet to follow suit despite being the agency that pushed for the change in photos.