MANILA - Aksyon Demokratiko executive vice president and Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto skipped his party’s national convention on Monday where his allies officially nominated their presidential, vice presidential and 2 senatorial bets for the 2022 national elections.
The mayor had previous commitments which he could not cancel, staff members from Sotto's office told ABS-CBN News.
Among the events Sotto attended on Monday was the inauguration of a road in Pasig City.
Several sources told ABS-CBN News that Sotto is trying to stay away from national politics as his political party, and his family are expected to endorse different presidential and vice presidential candidates in the upcoming polls.
Aksyon Demokratiko is fielding Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso for president and Dr. Willie Ong for vice president.
Aksyon's tandem is expected to be pitted against Sotto's uncle and godfather - Senate President Vicente Sotto III - who is running for vice president. The senator will run alongside Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who will vie for the presidency for the second time.
ABS-CBN News went to Sotto's office to clarify the issue, but the mayor declined to grant interviews.
Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel Jr. dispelled rumors that Sotto would transfer to the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), where his uncle Sen. Sotto is chairman.
"No such thing," Ramel said.
"He (Mayor Sotto) in fact already requested his CONA (Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance) from the party that I signed myself and also requested CONAs for the other members of the slate," he said.
Mayor Sotto will run for re-election with former Pasig Rep. Robert "Dodot" Jaworski Jr as his vice mayor.
Among the councilors under Sotto's slate are actress Angelu de Leon and Simon Romulo-Tantoco, nephew of his ally Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo.
Rep. Romulo was a member of Aksyon Demokratiko but has already transferred to the NPC.
Jaworski and De Leon are expected to join Aksyon Demokratiko this week.