On Apr. 1, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto was summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for an alleged violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (R.A. 11469). In the letter sent to Sotto, the NBI cited Section 6A of the act which penalizes “LGU officials disobeying national government policies or directives in imposing quarantines.” However, the mayor said in a televised media briefing that the letter did not specify the violation but did mention “continuous tricycle operation” as an example.
They're asking for an "explanation on the alleged violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (e.g. continuous tricycle operation)"
We complied with all directives. Hindi po illegal magbigay ng opinyon.
Before the signing of the Bayanihan Act, the mayor has complied with the directive to stop tricycle operations to bring health workers and patients with urgent needs to hospitals. The internet—including personalities and lawmakers—rallied behind him and trended the tag, #ProtectVico.
Vico Sotto has previously been lauded for Pasig City’s swift COVID-19 response and so netizens couldn’t help but make comparisons between him and other government officials. Celebrities such as Bela Padilla, Jodi Sta. Maria and Bianca Gonzales expressed their disappointment that a mayor who has noticeably stepped up to the challenge of serving his constituents while under the enhanced community quarantine seems to be the one that’s taking the heat from the national government.
Angel Locsin, Angelica Panganiban and Kim Chiu tweeted about a double standard when it comes to investigating infractions on the rule of law. Panganiban and Locsin mentioned Sen. Koko Pimentel who received backlash for breaching quarantine protocols and endangering Makati Medical Center patients and personnel. As of writing, the NBI has also summoned the senator to hear his side. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who launched an e-trike program, on the other hand remains unscathed.
Wala silang mapag initan. Si mayor vico talaga? Kung sino pa may natutulong at maayos na sistema, siya pa kakasuhan? HANEP! Eh nasan na yung nagkalat ng virus sa makati med? So far kasi yun palang nagagawa niya. Ikalat ang virus. Mapapamura ka na lang pala talaga.
Like what?????!!!! Yoko na!!!! Ang hirap sa ph govt, pag gumawa ka ng mabuti sa kapwa mas nakakataas ang makakabangga mo, pag gumawa ka ng hindi mabuti kaming mga netizens lang ang kalaban mo at ang nakakataas ay ???? https://t.co/D3UmQZXy5K
Senate president Tito Sotto (previously silent on issues regarding his nephew, Vico, and criticized for making indecent remarks), Sen. Kiko Pangilinan and Atty. Chel Diokno are among the politicians who demanded for the NBI to withdraw the warrant since the Constitution prohibits the retroactive application of provisions such as those included in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Paano nilabag ni Pasig City Mayor @VicoSotto ang batas na hindi pa batas? Ginamit ang mga improvised tricycle bago mag-March 18. Umapela, tinanggihan, at sumunod sa utos si Mayor Vico March 19. Naging batas ang Bayanihan to Act Heal as One Act (Special Powers Act) noong March 24.
With so many rushing to defend Mayor Vico, the question of whether recent administrative decisions truly have the public interest in mind has been raised. As Sen. Pangilinan wrote in a tweet, may public servants not allow themselves to be controlled by “other” interests and whims.
Panawagan ko sa mga kapwa lingkod-bayan: Huwag tayong magpagamit sa ibang interes at kapritso — kapakanan ng taumbayan sana ang pokus natin sa lahat ng oras lalo na ngayong panahon ng peligro.