Pasig's Vico Sotto among world's 'anti-corruption champions' â US
In this July 16, 2019 photo, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto attends a vaccination campaign program of the Department of Health in Pasig City Elementary School
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file

Pasig's Vico Sotto among world's 'anti-corruption champions' — US

(Philstar.com) - February 24, 2021 - 11:35am

MANILA, Philippines — Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto is among 12 individuals who received the inaugural International Anticorruption Champions Award launched by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The administration of US President Joe Biden introduced the award to recognize individuals who have worked to defend transparency, combat corruption and ensure accountability in their own countries.

"Victor Sotto, Mayor of Pasig, The Philippines, is a standard-bearer for a new generation of Philippine politicians who prioritize anticorruption and transparency initiatives in their election campaigns and in office," the US Department of State said Wednesday (Manila time).

Noting that Sotto was just 29 years old when he won the mayoral race in his home town, the US Department of State highlighted that his prior work as city councilor resulted in a freedom of information legislation.

The first such law in Metro Manila, this legislation allowed Pasig residents to request documents without providing justification.

"Sotto has sought to solidify his reputation as a fresh voice with a new, more transparent approach to governance," the US agency said.

"He pledged to avoid any kickbacks in the awarding of city contracts, established a 24/7 public information and complaints hotline, formally involved civil society organizations in the city’s budgeting and policy making, and mandated that the value of all city government contracts be reduced by at least 10 percent – a measure intended to reduce bribery in the contract awarding process," it added.

The other honorees recognized by the US are:

  •  Ardian Dvorani of Albania
  •  Diana Salazar of Ecuador
  •  Sophia Pretrick of the Federated States of Micronesia
  •  Juan Francisco Sandoval Alfaro of Guatemala
  •  Ibrahima Kalil Gueye of Guinea
  •  Anjali Bhardwaj of India
  •  Dhuha A. Mohammed of Iraq
  •  Bolot Temirov of the Kyrgyz Republic
  •  Mustafa Abdullah Sanalla of Libya
  •  Francis Ben Kaifala of Sierra Leone
  •  Ruslan Ryaboshapka of Ukraine

Blinken said the 12 awardees inspired Washington and their counterparts in pursuing their commitment to truth, transparency and accountability.

"We will defeat corruption by implementing sound reforms consistent with international anticorruption commitments; developing transparent, accountable institutions; and empowering citizens, journalists, and civil society organizations to help defeat this global threat to security and democracy," Blinken said. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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