MANILA— Vice presidential aspirant and Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III rejected Friday claims that his family is becoming a political dynasty, as some members of his clan aim to get reelected in some Metro Manila cities this year.
In an interview on ANC, the lawmaker said the Sotto clan could not even be considered a "dynasty."
"There's no dynasty. The mayor Vico is in Pasig, while my son is in Quezon City. If we are all in one place perhaps you can call that as a dynasty but we are not," Sotto explained.
A political dynasty is when members of a family hold elective positions in the government successively or simultaneously along with other members to maintain political control.
Data analyzed by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed that the Sottos, like the Zamoras, branched out to different cities in the capital region.
Three members of the Sotto family will be running for various elective positions in Quezon City, Pasig, and Parañaque—while the Senate President is gunning for the vice presidency.
Sotto’s son, Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Carlo Sotto, is seeking re-election.
Likewise seeking re-election is the senator’s nephew, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, while the senator’s niece-in-law Nina Celine Sotto is seeking to replace her husband, Wahoo, as Parañaque 2nd District Councilor.
Despite this, Sotto said: "There's no one running for the Senate now that my term is ending. I don't think we fall under that category... You leave it to the people."
But the vice presidential candidate admitted that they were among the first political clans in the country, noting that his grand uncle Filemon Sotto and his grandfather, Vicente Sotto, were both senators.
"Sabay sila eh. There were 2 Sottos and there were 2 Roccos in the 1935 Constitution kaya kami ang original na dynasty," he said.
(They were both senators. There were 2 Sottos and 2 Roccos in the 1935 Constitution which is why we are the original dynasty.)
Political dynasties are banned under the Constitution but the provision requires an enabling law, which Congress has failed to pass for the past 33 years.
In the May elections, Sotto will face Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Dr. Willie Ong, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and Rep. Lito Atienza, Jr., among other candidates, for the vice presidency.