Sotto pioneered renaming streets to Filipino and nationalist names

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

Don Vicente Yap Sotto, Father of Cebuano Journalism, Language, and Literature first entered politics as a Cebu City councilor. He pioneered the naming and renaming of streets to Filipino and local names.

This was how Dr. Resil Mojares, National Artist for Literature, in his book “The Maverick Senator, Vicente Sotto” (first published in 1992 together with Senate President Tito Sotto then the vice mayor of Quezon City. In 2021, Dr. Mojares and Senator Tito Sotto reprinted the book with the help of the Cebuano Studies Center headed by Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu) narrated the scenes of Sotto’s time:

“In the December election (December 1, 1903) itself, Vicente Sotto (together with Rallos and his elder brother, Filemon) won as councilor. His election was protested on the grounds that he was under the age prescribed by law, but the protest failed. In his first elective office, Sotto applied himself to the job of local legislation (authoring, among others, the ordinance that substituted Filipino and nationalist names to the old Spanish names of Cebu’s city streets.)”

Don Vicente Sotto’s grandson and namesake also followed his footsteps for championing the provinces. As senator, Senate President Tito Sotto, in his first term in the Senate (1992-1998), authored the following pro-province legislation: RA 8185, the law amending the Local Government Code that requires the president to first declare an area affected in a “state of calamity”, Sotto’s law eliminated that requirement for the validity of the expenditure of local calamity funds.

Senator Tito Sotto also authored the revision of the City Charter of Calbayog and increased the number of the members of the Sangguniang Panlunsod under RA 8335. Senate President Sotto authored the cityhood of the following municipalities in the Visayas and Mindanao: RA 8192, Sagay City, Negros Occidental; RA 8297, City of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental; RA 8489, Talisay City, Negros Occidental; RA 8488, Victorias City, Negros Occidental; RA 8472, Tagum City, Province of Davao; RA 8471, Garden Island of Samal, Province of Davao. In Mindanao: RA 8500, Kidapawan City, Cotabato; and RA 8490, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

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