Many Filipinos have kept their eye on Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto and his work on the ground level. And these Pinoys are also waiting for him to give a statement or an endorsement about the presidential and vice presidential candidates. But since he assumed his position, the mayor has distanced himself from national politics — and he isn’t quite ready to change that soon.
He doesn’t want to be involved in national politics
Aksyon Demokratiko exec VP @VicoSotto maintains he is not endorsing any presidential candidate for #Halalan2022 after Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel said that the Pasig City Mayor was part of the group who OK’d Manila Mayor @IskoMoreno’s pitch to become standard bearer. pic.twitter.com/pbvUDTYUmr
— Kat Domingo (@_katrinadomingo) February 15, 2022
Last week, Sotto’s party Aksyon Demokratiko said that he was among the members who approved Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso’s bid as their 2022 standard-bearer. But contrary to Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel’s statements, Sotto said that he is not endorsing any presidential candidate.
He wants to focus on Pasig
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto insists on not meddling with national politics and says he will not endorse any candidate in #Halalan2022.
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) February 15, 2022
Sotto said he wants to focus his attention on Pasig, where he has still much to do. “Hindi biro yung ginagawa namin dito na nililinis namin ang pamahalaan. We have decades-old institutionalized corruption here.”
Netizens infer possible explanation
Sya ay kabilang sa isang partido, at may tiyuhin na tumatakbo na VP. Napakadali sa kanya na ikampanya ang pangulo ng partido nila at ang tiyuhin. Pero pinili nyang huwag gawin iyon. Yun pa lang ay sapat nang patunay na nasa tama si Mayor.
— Kulas (@iamkulasparov) February 15, 2022
Some netizens believe that there’s much more to his stance on non-endorsement. They infer that this is largely due to his party having its own presidential bid, while his paternal uncle Tito Sotto is also making a bid for vice presidency with another party.
He is doing serious work within our fence and hindi porque sikat siya at mahal siya ng marami, ay wala siyang detractors sa Pasig. Do you honestly think that the past political dynasty will take it easy on him now that the elections are nearing?
— Anj (Taylor’s Version) ❤️ (@lateaugustgirl) February 16, 2022
Sotto also explained that he already discussed his stance with his party. “We met with more than one candidate. But I asked [my party] nicely, and they agreed,” Sotto told ABS-CBN News. “Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi na muna ako mangingialam sa national politics kasi medyo matindi yung ginagawa natin dito sa local. And they said, ‘ Okay’. They agreed.”
The mayor also made an agreement with his uncle that he would not be meddling in national politics: “Ganoon din ang napag-usapan, ang napagkasunduan namin ni Tito Sen. I asked him nicely, Ninong ko siya, ‘Ninong, hindi na muna ako makikialam sa national politics ha.’ He said, ‘Okay’.”
Some netizens like that he’s focusing on the ground level
Sotto said that most people who criticize him for not speaking up on national politics tend to be non-Pasigueños. Citizens who live in Pasig understand that he needs to focus.
We need more focused, patient, and competent leaders like Mayor @VicoSotto.
Too many politicians see government as a career ladder instead of a service platform. Impatient ambition is a good sign of future mismanagement and/or future corruption. https://t.co/uLeVOwMDpm
— David Bonifacio (@davidbonifacio) February 16, 2022
He’s already accomplished much, but there’s still more to do
In his first six months as mayor, Sotto already did much to change the inner workings of the Pasig LGU. Most recently, Sotto shared that residents from Tabing-Ilog in Pasig now have access to legal power connections — after 30 long years.
One netizen praised this recent achievement: “First term pa lang ni Vico Sotto and not only do you feel a change but you also already know that those very changes are pointing in the right direction.”
30 years. Let that sink in.
Real change results to brand new outcomes rather than giving you more of the same.
— Jako de Leon (@jakodeleon) February 13, 2022
However, other netizens are also criticizing his stance
Some netizens don’t agree with Sotto’s decision to distance himself from national politics, especially when so much is at stake.
I disagree on this. If Vico Sotto’s reasoning is to focus in cleaning the local government than to meddle in national politics, then how is it not counterproductive if the possible president has history of corruption? https://t.co/48IVqCzjjc
— dom (@domsb_) February 15, 2022
The national affects the local and vice versa. I get why you’re saying this, and I understand it’s hard, but at some point, you’ll have to make a stand. Can’t straddle that fence forever. https://t.co/Qw8PpvVJKe
— Nuelle⁷ 🎀 (@nuelleduterte) February 15, 2022
‘Would you rather endorse someone or spill about your love life?’
In a “would you rather” segment, Pasig Mayor @VicoSotto picks between endorsing a presidential bet & sharing details re: his love life — 2 topics he has been evading since rising to power in 2019.
He also tries to choose: ex-Pasig Mayor Bobby Eusebio or Vice Mayor Iyo Bernardo? pic.twitter.com/ndTuHMKuMv
— Kat Domingo (@_katrinadomingo) February 16, 2022
In a would-you-rather segment with ABS-CBN, Sotto was asked if he would rather endorse a presidential bet or share details about his love life. He did answer that he would rather endorse than be asked about his love life. But Sotto maintained that he would still not make an endorsement for any candidate.
“I will only endorse if I’m 100% sure,” Sotto said. “I know it’s hard for some people to understand, but I have to do what I think is right.
Mayor Vico’s points to remember in voting
While he is not officially endorsing anyone, Sotto has previously shared some points to remember that would help in discerning who to vote for during this election campaign period. Point 4 — convince, not dictate — is especially important as the May elections near. Read more here:
What’s your take on Mayor Vico Sotto’s stance?