MANILA - Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto on Monday hit Vice Mayor Iyo Bernardo for allegedly spewing political criticisms against the current city administration before fulfilling his tasks as an elected official.
Bernardo, who earlier took to social media alleged lapses of the Sotto administration, has been skipping several meetings and has not been responding to text messages, the 32-year-old mayor said during the city government's flag ceremony.
"Sana bago natin pag-usapan ang pulitika, bago tayo mamulitika, magrabaho muna tayo," Sotto said in a speech.
(I hope that we work first before we talk about politics, before we engage in politicking.)
"Hindi po masama ang magbigay puna. Hindi po masama ang magreklamo dahil bilang mga mamamayan, karapatan po natin 'yan... [Pero] ano ang karapatan natin mamuna kung 'yung pormal na tungkulin natin ay hindi natin nagagampanan?" he said.
(There is nothing wrong in giving criticisms. There is nothing wrong in complaining because that is our right as citizens... But what right to we have to criticize when we are not even doing our formal tasks?)
"Kailangan, bago tayo mamuna, mag-ambag muna tayo sa mga pormal na proseso."
(Before we criticize, we should first contribute to the formal process.)
Sotto said Bernardo failed to attend the formal turnover of the city's 2022 budget ordinance, and did not participate in Pasig's City Development Council where the vice mayor sits as a member of the panel.
"Siguro mga 3 o 4 na beses ko po siyang tinext. Ipre-present ko po sa kaniya [ang 2022 budget] bilang courtesy ko sa kaniya... para alam niya din. At kung may ipupuna siya, mas maganda para alam niya muna ano ang pinag-uusapan," the mayor said.
(I have texted him 3 or 4 times. I wanted to present to him, as a courtesy, our 2022 budget... so that he knows about it and so that we can discuss if he has criticisms.)
"Kung nakakausap ko lang po si Vice Iyo, kung sumasagot ba naman sana sa mga tawag at text ko, eh di sana, hindi ko kailangan sabihin in public. Pero wala naman po akong choice kasi hindi naman po sumasagot sa akin," he said.
(If I can only talk to Vice Mayor Iyo, if he will only respond to my calls and texts, then I don't have to say it in public. But I have no choice because he does not respond to me.)
BERNARDO OUTLINES SOTTO'S ALLEGED LAPSES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In December, Bernardo posted a video showing a supposed compilation of complaints from Pasig residents regarding problems in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)'s distribution of cash aid in the city.
"Ang mga Pasigueño ay lubos na nahihirapan na kolektahin ang tulong na para sa kanila," Bernardo said in the taped video.
(Pasigueños are having a hard time collecting the aid that is due to them.)
"Sana ho, nakipag-coordinate po tayo sa ating mga nirerespetong mga barangay captains, barangay kagawads, Sangguniang Kabataan members, para ho hindi lalong nahirapan sa pagtanggap ng ayuda ang ating mga kababayan," he said.
(The city should have coordinated with our respected barangay captains and officials, Sangguniang Kabataan members so that our fellow residents don't have a hard time receiving the cash aid.)
Bernardo alleged that difficulties in collecting cash aid could have been avoided had the distribution been done in barangay halls and courts, instead of a single place for all residents.
"Ang tunay na lider, uunahin ang kapakanan at hindi pinahihirapan ang kaniyang mga nasasakupan," Bernardo said.
(A real leader will prioritize the welfare of his constituents instead of giving them a hard time.)
"We don't deserve this kind of service. Dapat maayos, may camera man o wala (Things should be in order, whether there are cameras or none)," he said.
Bernardo could have gotten a better grasp of the situation had he responded to calls and attended meetings, Sotto said.
"Sana inalam muna kung ano yung totoong nangyayari... Kung nag-request siya ng meeting, sana kasama ang DSWD hanggang regional, welcome na welcome po siya sumali," the mayor said.
(He should have asked about what happened first... If he only requested for a meeting with the DSWD, even up to the regional level, he will be very welcome to join.)
"Ini-invite pa nga namin siya, hindi pa nga dumadating," he added.
(We have been inviting him, but he never attended.)
Sotto also questioned why Bernardo has been ranting about the city government now, but remained quiet during his first two terms as the vice mayor of former Pasig Mayor Bobby Eusebio.
"Si Vice Mayor Iyo, hindi naman nagsalita 'yan ng ilang years," Sotto said.
"Sa problema sa basura, wala namang problema [mamuna] kasi may problema naman talaga sa basura. Pero bakit nung 2018, noong nagkaproblema din sa basura, parang lahat nakatikom ang bibig?" he said.
ABS-CBN News sought Bernardo's comment regarding Sotto's allegation, but the Pasig vice mayor has yet to give his statement.
Sotto and Bernardo will be competing for the mayoralty post of the capital region's 4th richest city in the coming elections.
While Sotto has received several accolades from the international community for his good governance in Pasig, the vice mayor enjoys the support of majority of local and barangay officials in the city.