Vico Sotto seeks second term, files certificate of candidacy for Pasig mayor

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2021 09:42 AM | Updated as of Oct 01 2021 11:45 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Friday filed his certificate of candidacy before the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office, formalizing his re-election bid after a maiden term where he was marked as a dynasty slayer and an anti-corruption advocate.

Sotto arrived at the local Comelec office in Pasig around 9 a.m., and was accompanied by his celebrity parents Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes.

“Sa 2022, ang plano natin babawiin natin 'yung oras na kunuha sa atin ng COVID-19,” he told reporters after filing his COC.

(In 2022, we plan to make up for the time that COVID-19 took away from us.)

“Nandiyan na 'yung mga reporma, nandiyan na 'yung mga pagbabago. Ngayon, kung naramdaman ng Pasigueño ang serbisyo noong nakaraang dalawang taon, mas paiigtingin pa natin,” he said.

(The reforms are already there, the change is already there. If Pasigueños have felt our service in the past years, we plan to make them feel that more.)

But unlike his first mayoralty bid in 2019, Sotto will now run with a vice mayor and a full council slate, which includes Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo’s nephew Simon Tantoco.

“We want to be idealist but siguro ang pinaka importante sa ngayon, I need people who will help me that I can trust,” Sotto told reporters when asked why he appears to have skirted his own anti-dynasty stance.

Sotto, 32, ended the decades-long rule of the Eusebio clan in Pasig City after he defeated former Pasig Mayor Bobby Eusebio in the 2019 mayoralty race.

He has been lauded for maintaining Pasig's P12-billion budget despite a drop in government revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About a quarter of the city's 2021 fund was allocated to health-related programs, while a chunk was also spent to automate several government systems, including patients' data and employees' daily time records, Sotto said in earlier interviews.

“I thank the Lord for his strong conviction, and I’m just praying that the people of Pasig will continue to support him,” said the mayor's mother Reyes.

“We’re just here to back him up any way we can,” she said.

Sotto’s father, Vic, said he is “very proud” of what his son has achieved in his maiden term as Pasig City mayor.

“Nakita ko ang trabaho ng aking anak… Nakita ko 'yung kaniyang magagandang nagawa para sa ating lungsod,” he said.

(I saw how my son worked… I saw the good things he did for our city.)

“Siya ngayon 'yung nagsisilbing puwedeng gayahing leader lalo na ng mga kabataan,” he said.

(He now serves as a role model for leaders, especially the young ones.)

VICO-DODOT TANDEM

In the 2022 elections, Sotto will be running with former Pasig Rep. Robert "Dodot" Jaworski, who filed his certificate of candidacy for vice mayor shortly after the mayor.

Jaworski, a former basketball player, ran for mayor in 2007, and returned to the private sector after he lost to Eusebio.

"To be straight with you, I did not have any plans of coming back this 2022 elections. Zero," Jaworski told ABS-CBN News in an earlier interview.

"I got an invitation from Mayor Vico Sotto and he asked me if I could be of help to him in trying to push for reforms for the city of Pasig because he knows of my principles. He knows the kind of governance I wanted to push for during my time," he said.

During his political hiatus, Jaworski led at least 5 firms in the hospitality, education and construction sectors.

Jaworski said these firms will be barred from doing business with the Pasig local government should he win the vice mayoralty race.

"None of them will do business with the city of Pasig. You can take that to the bank. That's definitely a big no-no," he said.

Jaworski filed his COC with his wife, athlete Mikee Cojuanco.

LITMUS TEST

Sotto's re-election bid will test if the young mayor can further "build that political reputation" in the long haul, political analyst Ramon Casiple told ABS-CBN News.

"There were a lot of promising politicians in their younger days... but it did not really work out well," he said, but declined to name names.

"In politics, you cannot make certain that your previous image will be retained... particularly if you're involved in corruption and other political ills," he said.

Sotto - known for being a dynasty slayer - is the nephew of Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and the cousin of Quezon City vice mayor Gian Sotto.

"He (Vico) would be judged on how he treats these relatives in the political arena," Casiple said.

Sotto, the executive vice president of Aksyon Demokratiko, earlier skipped his party's recent national convention where Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso was nominated to run as their standard bearer.

In the same event, Dr. Willie Ong accepted the party's nomination for him to run for vice president, pitting the cardiologist against the Pasig mayor's uncle and godfather, Sen. Sotto, who is also eyeing the vice presidency.

Mayor Sotto's office earlier said that he was unable to attend the meeting due to other engagements, including the inauguration of a road in Pasig.

Several sources earlier told ABS-CBN News that Mayor Sotto has been 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.

"If a relative goes to him and asks for favors and he is prone to giving it even if the favor is not that good, then he will have questions. He will receive a lot of attention," Casiple said.

The upcoming elections will also test if Sotto has built sufficient political capital to influence all his allies to follow his example, such as his ban on placing the names of politicians on food packs and other government-funded items, the political analyst said.

"It will be a mark of leadership if he can make his case and stick to it," Casiple said.

"I don't have a judgment on that. It is too early... We have to wait for that particular set of circumstance when a member of his own party goes against him."

Sotto has to realize the "politics is not simply working with friends and partymates," Casiple said.

"The situation where you have differences with your own people, not with your enemies, would be the test," he said.

"How he (Sotto) would handle that, that I would like to see."