The United States State Department has reportedly named Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to its elite list of anti-corruption champions.
In doing so, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US government is acknowledging the efforts of certain individuals “who have worked tirelessly, often in the face of adversity, to defend transparency, combat corruption, and ensure accountability in their own countries.”
Aside from Sotto, the US also cited the following persons as anti-corruption champions: Ardian Dvorani of Albania, Diana Salazar of Ecuador, Sophia Pretrick of Micronesia, Juan Francisco Sandoval Alfaro of Guatemala and Ibrahima Kalil Gueye of Guinea.
Anjali Bhardwaj of India, Dhuha Mohammed of Iraq, Bolot Temirov of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mustafa Abdullah Sanalla of Libya, Francis Ben Kaifala of Sierra Leone and Ruslan Rhyboshhapka of Ukraine.
The US praised Sotto for working to eliminate kickbacks in the awarding of city contracts, creating a 24/7 public information and complaints hotline and formally involving civil society groups in the city’s budgeting and policy-making activities.
The US State Department’s move had prompted the Philippine Senate into passing a resolution honoring Sotto, nephew of Senate President Tito Sotto, for earning this singular distinction.
Vice President Leni Robredo said she hoped this would pave the way for the emergence of more honest public servants, in the mold of the Jesuit-educated Mayor Sotto.