Sotto, Zamora, Moreno topple giants; make history in PH politics

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2019   •   10224

(L-R) Vico Sotto, Francis Zamora and Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso

MANILA, Philippines – The political arena had a complete turn-around in major cities in the country as the reign of political clans ended and new faces emerged victorious in Monday’s 2019 midterm polls.

Pasig City’s new, “millennial” mayor

A promise of a “new kind of politics” is about to start in Pasig City after 29-year-old Councilor Vico Sotto braved the pressure to break the almost three-decade unbroken line of Eusebios in the country’s eighth largest city.

On his official Facebook page, Sotto thanked his supporters for the trust while he promised to lead the city to its new beginning.

“Maraming salamat. Sa lahat ng nagbigay ng tiwala, sa mga bumoto, at sa mga nakiisa sa ating laban,” the incoming Mayor said.

“Sulit po ang pagod at effort natin. Narinig na ng bayan ang ating tinig. Handa na ang Pasig para sa tunay at pangmatagalang pagbabago!” he added.

Sotto, who topped the councilor race in 2016 in his first ever attempt in public office, is the son of veteran celebrities Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes.

Sotto did not field a vice mayor which left the incumbent Iyo Christian Caruncho Bernardo unopposed.

His party-mate former Rep. Roman Romulo also won the race against Mayor Bobby Eusebio’s brother incumbent Rep. Ricky Eusebio and is now a returning congressman for Pasig City’s lone district.

A game changer in San Juan City

Businessman Francis Zamora is the new mayor of San Juan City ending the reign of the Ejercito-Estrada clan in the smallest city in Metro Manila.

Zamora considered himself a game-changer after winning the election against Jannela Ejercito, the daughter of former senator Jinggoy Estrada and granddaughter of Manila’s incumbent mayor Joseph Estrada.

The new mayor promised to turn the old city of San Juan into a highly developed “Smart City” with improved services and state-of-the-art facilities.

Francis’ father, Ronaldo Zamora, remains in office after defeating challenger Edu Manzano for the lone district of San Juan.

The Estrada clan took hold of San Juan City since 1969 when then popular actor Joseph Estrada won as mayor. He was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and JV Ejercito then JV’s mother Guia Gomez to whom Zamora narrowly lost his bid for mayor in 2016.

The Zamoras and Estradas were family friends for 30 years until Francis and Guia both ran in the mayoralty race in 2016. Francis claimed he was cheated in the election.

Dethroning a giant

Former Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso defeated the “giant” in the country’s capital, Manila.

The new mayor described his win as a “humbling experience” while he could only wish the best for his opponent, former president and mayor Joseph Estrada.

“Maging masaya ang kaniyang mga araw sa buhay. Maging maligaya din siya na kapiling ang kaniyang pamilya…Nakapaglingkod na naman siya sa taumbayan. Napagbigyan na rin naman siya. And I think he did enough already for the country and for the city,” Domagoso said of Estrada.

A Tondo boy who used to scavenge for food, Domagoso established his political career from serving three terms as a city councilor, another three terms as vice mayor and the most recent as an undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

As now the new mayor of Manila, he promised “more programs of governance” for the city.

“Today is just the beginning. It’s going to be challenging years for us. People are expecting pero may awa ang Dios. We always wanted to be guided by law and order and by God,” he said after securing his win.

His running mate, incumbent Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah Lacuna-Pangan, also won for a second term in office. — Marje Pelayo

Manila deploys 400 COVID-19 safety marshals amid MECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 4, 2020

The Manila City government has deployed 400 of its Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) enforcers to assist in implementing public health protocols under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has directed the safety marshals to also call out residents, and not just motorists, who are violating health protocols.

“We will help our uniformed personnel in the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the MPD (Manila Police Department). We will augment them in their effort to keep peace and order in the city,” he said.

The Manila Mayor also reminded the safety marshals of existing city laws mandating the use of face masks, compliance with physical distancing protocols, as well as general curfew. He also reiterated that safety marshals should not lose their patience

Sasawayin natin ang mga hindi sumusunod sa batas, pero hindi natin kailangan maging mainitin ang ulo, hindi tayo kailangan maggagalit-galitan, (We will call out the law violators out, but we don’t need to lose our patience, we don’t need to get angry),” he said. AAC

Pasig City temporarily closes 4 health centers after staffers contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Pasig City has closed four of its health centers after several staff contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to Mayor Vico Sotto, the four facilities include: 

  • Manggahan Super Health Center
  • Caniogan Helath Center
  • Napico Health Center
  • Maybunga Floodway Health Center

Sotto added that health workers at Caniogan Health Center are still under quarantine while waiting for the result of their COVID-19 tests. 

The mayor also asked his constituents to approach the city’s operation center for inquiry and assistance.

He assured them that the city government is doing its best to further expand the health centers’ operational capacity.

To date, the city has recorded over 1600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 111 deaths and 741 recoveries.

Mayor Sotto suspends Landers branch for breach of social distancing rules

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Pasig City has suspended a branch of membership supermarket Landers in Barangay Ugong for failing to observe physical distancing.

In his post on Twitter, Mayor Vico Sotto explained that they usually do not announce business names that violate the policy in consideration of their reputation.

But in the case of Landers, the Mayor opted to reveal the name for the safety of the shoppers given the supermarket’s large number of members.

According to Sotto, only the grocery is temporarily closed but the restaurant, barbershop, plant shop, pharmacy, and parking space remain open for business.

Sotto said the management of the supermarket already expressed compliance with the policy.

“We encourage them to use the next few days to improve their health/safety protocols,” Mayor Sotto concluded.

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