The United States Department of State has recently named Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto as one of its 12 International Anti-corruption Champions.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership, courage and impact in preventing, exposing and combating corruption.
Sotto was one of 12 individuals who “have worked tirelessly, often in the face of adversity, to defend transparency, combat corruption, and ensure accountability in their own countries.”
Sotto was even described by the department as a “standard-bearer for a new generation of Philippine politicians who prioritize anti-corruption and transparency initiatives in their election campaigns and in office.”
The statement also added that the young mayor “has sought to solidify his reputation as a fresh voice with a new, more transparent approach to governance,”
“In 2019, Sotto, then a 29-year-old city councilor, defeated an incumbent mayor whose family had ruled the city for 27 years. Sotto’s prior work on the city council resulted in freedom of information legislation that allowed city residents to request documents without having to provide a justification – the first such law in the Metro Manila area,” the statement read.
It also took note how Sotto pledged to avoid kickbacks in the awarding of city contracts, established a 24/7 public information and complaints hotline, and formally involved civil society organizations in the city’s budgeting and policymaking.
The other 11 individuals who were awarded by the US Department include:
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; and Ruslan Ryaboshapka of Ukraine.