Pasig’s Sotto leads fresh anti-corruption drive; 2 employees fall
MANILA, Philippines — Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has assured his constituents that moves to “denormalize” corruption would continue on his second term in office, so much so that immediately after his oath taking, two government employees were arrested for taking bribes.
Sotto on Friday said that an entrapment operation was set up by the Philippine National Police (PNP) just after he took his oath of office for his fresh three-year term.
In a Facebook post, the local chief executive narrated that the government employee was caught in the act of taking P600,000 in exchange of helping release a permit, which the business owner being victimized said was already complied with.
“Sa unang araw pagkatapos ng Oath-taking para sa bagong term, nagka entrapment operation kami ng PNP. Naaresto ang 2 empleyado, caught-in-the-act na tumatanggap ng suhol sa halagang 600,000 PESOS,” Sotto said.
(On the first day just after the oath-taking for the new term, we and the PNP set-up an entrapment operation. Two employees were arrested, caught in the act of receiving a bribe worth P600,000.)
“Para daw ito sa ‘tulong’ para lumabas ang isang permit na dati nang sinabi sa business owner na ok na,” he added.
(It was supposedly for helping the release of a permit, which the business owner previously told that it was already okay.)
Sotto, who has received awards for good governance, said that trying to rid the city of corruption is a hard job but one that they would not back down from.
Instead, the Mayor said that they would push even harder to denormalize corruption.
“In the last 3 years, we have started to de-normalize corruption and institutionalize good governance in our local government. A tiring and mostly thankless job, but we guarantee that in the next 3 years, we will push even harder and do even better,” he said.
Sotto won in the last May 2022 local elections, getting over 330,000 votes — way ahead of former vice mayor Iyo Caruncho who only managed to get 45,000 votes.
In 2021, he was named by the United States’ State Department as one of the 12 anti-corruption champions across the world, adding that Sotto is a standard-bearer for a new generation of Filipino officials who put transparency first and foremost in their term as public officials.
After receiving the distinction, Sotto said he hopes that the award has raised awareness that there is a need to fight corruption and get it out of the Philippine political culture.
Sotto also admitted that there are many people who get angry at his anti-corruption drive, but he said he does not mind as it only showed that ending corruption is possible.
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