EDITORIAL - We need more Vico Sottos

EDITORIAL - We need more Vico Sottos

(The Freeman) - February 25, 2021 - 12:00am

Twelve individuals around the world were recently honored as champions in the fight against corruption by the United States government. One of them was a Filipino.

The honor was given to Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, who was chosen as one of the inaugural winners of the International Anticorruption Champions Award, an honor just launched by the administration of US President Joe Biden.

"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 is quoted as saying in a report in Philstar.com.

In justifying his inclusion in the award, the US Department of State said it was impressed by how Sotto moved to make government transactions and operations more transparent and to reduce the chances of different government offices getting kickbacks from projects and contracts.

Considering how he has broken the mold of the tradition politician --and we don’t have a flattering image of such figures-- we can indeed say Sotto deserves this recognition. His style of governance is a breath of fresh air in a system that is known for rampant graft and too many people asking for grease money in exchange for favors, or even just to provide basic services.

Of course, there will be detractors. They will say that Sotto is just a relative newcomer in politics and that many have been around longer who have also made headway in the fight against corruption. They may also question those who gave the award itself, saying it has just been launched by a foreign administration that has not been in power long enough to know.

To this we say that we model our governance system around the US form of government. If there is anyone who knows how transparency works or should work, that would be those who gave the award.

We aren’t saying Sotto is a perfect politician because, for sure, such an animal doesn’t really exist. We are also sure that for all his accolades he also has his shortcomings, which is inherent in all human beings.

But for now suffice it to say we need more of Vico Sotto and his type in our government.

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