Apparently, yet another symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic is it brings out the dumbest ideas in certain kinds of people.
After winning in the recent elections and putting an end to the decades-long political dynasty that came before him, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto was riding high on a platform of changes and transparency, which he made good on. Despite this, and despite being one of the model LGUs in the middle of this crisis, it seems that the Mayor has run afoul of the administration, to the point that he has been alluded to in one of the President’s drunken late-night speeches, and even an inquiry by the NBI over supposedly violating the BAHO Law, which was literally put into law days after the object of the inquiry in question, i.e., the tricycle issue.
We’re not going to pretend to be armchair political pundits here, but this does not strike us as a clever thing to do right now. Here are just 8 reasons why.
8. He is not a threat.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto clarified on Friday that he does not have any interest in national politics and that as a public servant, he has the duty to update his constituents on what is happening in their city. pic.twitter.com/RwD86RPB6Y
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) March 20, 2020
This is a man who has categorically stated his disinterest in national politics. Why make him start having an interest by antagonizing him?
Furthermore, at 30 years of age, Vico Sotto isn’t even eligible to run for President until he turns 40, making 2034 the soonest anyone could legally elect him. He is not a threat to anyone’s non-Pasig Mayor political ambitions — even if his competence spotlights others’ blatant incompetence by contrast.
7. He has fans on every side of the political fence.
Unless they’re on someone’s payroll or heavily drinking the Kool-Aid, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone, whether DDS or Dilawan, who would actively think that Vico Sotto is doing a bad job right now. People whose names don’t start with an E and end in O generally have no problem with him. He is aligned with the likes of Leni Robredo, but his uncle, the Senate President, has nothing but good things to say about him.
This means that if you are seen as actively antagonizing him, even your own buddies would want to have words with you. Now why would you want to do that?
6. Vico Sotto is not even the enemy.
— summa (@6w4p0n6mH4lUp3t) April 1, 2020
He may not be politically on your side of the fence, but he’s not actively against you. Vico Sotto is one of those people who is fine with co-existing, with working across the aisle. Why would you want to make an enemy out of them by singling them out when they clearly aren’t even the enemy? And speaking of enemies…
5. Certain people are surrounded by people who are real and actual threats.
When one’s long-time ally and benefactor suddenly turns around and says you’re doing a poor job, one might want to take a look at who he calls his friends before he tries making new enemies.
The vultures are circling. You just haven’t realized it yet.
4. This administration literally gave him the right to do what he did (before pretending it didn’t)
So why did Vico Sotto take that initiative anyway and, shocker of shockers, “defy” the national government? Because in the greatest of plot twists, it was the national government that said this is Vico Sotto’s prerogative.
On March 16, the President said:
“Just go ahead and the mayor will do it for us…para wala masyadong (so there’s not a lot of) ruckus, walang (no) debate, isa lang (just one) — one line lang ngayon, mayor lang muna (only one person, the mayor). And he can come up with any measure to protect public health, public interest, public order, public safety and whatever is needed to make life more livable in your place.”
Just three days later, on March 19, the President then said:
“I am ordering all LGUs (local government units) that are doing this to stand down, and to abide by the directives of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases)…the task force, and those issued by the Office of the President. And to make sure that what the IATF says should be closed, is closed, and those that should be open, stays open.”
Oh, the duality of man. Those people who keep saying we should just do what the President says, which one are you referring to? Because he pretty much talked out of both sides of his mouth on this one. We’re guessing that Federalism thing, y’know, the system where LGU’s have complete power over their own jurisdictions instead of just a central government, is not gonna fly with this admin anymore?
3. This administration has better things to do.
Focus on whats really important: HELPING THE PEOPLE THROUGH THIS CRISIS.
Let Mayor Vico do his job (which he is doing so well already 👏🏻)
Akala niyo madidistract niyo kami ah.
— Lauren Young (@loyoung) April 1, 2020
There’s a nationwide crisis that needs the administration’s attention right now. If it spent the same amount of effort on doing good as it does on trying to look good, maybe we’d actually get somewhere in this crisis. Picking on someone who makes you look bad because they’re doing well is unproductive and literally spits in the face of “ano’ng ambag mo?” Akala ba namin, tulong na lang kesa reklamo? Eh bakit ngayon, kayo pa ang reklamo ng reklamo diyan kaysa tumulong?
2. Diversions are useless when people have time on our hands.
What if they’re distracting us through Vico so they can steal the billions? Filing a case against Vico is so stupid and outlandish that it almost feels like satire. Be vigilant. #ProtectVico #ProtectMayorVico #ProtectTheBillions
— Paulo Castro (@pawawawofficial) April 1, 2020
We’ve come to expect bone-headed acts like these to be diversionary tactics, keeping our attention away from equally pressing issues.
The problem is, we’re in the middle of lockdown. People have time on their hands to multi-task their anger. This distraction is decidedly not going to work, assuming it is one. You’d have a better chance of distracting the people by having Sal Panelo don a Borat bathing suit and start dancing to “Tala” on Tiktok (But please don’t do that.).
And yes, we know that ALL donations are currently being ordered to be consolidated through the Office of Civil Defense. And yes, we know that every single government hospital has a Malasakit Center, perfect for anyone with designs on 2022. Did we miss anything else you were hoping to distract us from?
1. Because it makes it glaring who is NOT being questioned.
Wala silang mapag initan. Si mayor vico talaga? Kung sino pa may natutulong at maayos na sistema, siya pa kakasuhan? HANEP! Eh nasan na yung nagkalat ng virus sa makati med? So far kasi yun palang nagagawa niya. Ikalat ang virus. Mapapamura ka na lang pala talaga.
— Angelica Panganiban (@angelica_114) April 1, 2020
Let’s put it this way. If you had to arrest someone, would you arrest:
- The guy who keeps thinking of ways to help in the middle of this crisis, or
- The guy who knows he could have COVID-19, actually has COVID-19, and walks around in a hospital, potentially passing it on to medical frontliners.
The DOJ has been saying we should treat extraordinary cases with “compassion.” Meanwhile, people who are poor, people who are starving, and people who can’t stay home because they literally have no home have been on the receiving end of arrests, threats, and multiple allegations of harassment.
Yet we should show compassion to someone who has been a f*cking menace to our first and last line of defense by being a walking biohazard in the middle of a hospital. Yet Vico Sotto’s actions merit a need for a legal inquiry while that other guy’s only merits a look after everyone and their mother has already chimed in at the obvious disparity?
Let’s not kid ourselves here.
What do you think about this Vico Sotto’s NBI inquiry? Sound off in the comments below.