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Vico Sotto has been named 'anti-corruption champion' by the US Department

Mayor Vico Sotto of Pasig City is among a dozen "brave individuals" awarded the International Anti-Corruption Champions Award launched by State Secretary Antony Blinken to "recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership, courage, and impact in preventing, exposing and combating corruption."

Sotto is a standard bearer for a new generation of Philippine politicians who, in their election campaigns and in office, emphasize anti-corruption and transparency measures.

As a town councilor in Pasig, Sotto first entered public service in 2016. In the 2019 elections, he ran for mayor and dethroned the Eusebio dynasty, which had occupied the Pasig mayoralty for almost 3 decades.

The agency reported that Sotto's previous work on the town council culminated in legislation on freedom of information enabling city citizens to request records without having to offer a reason. This is the first such law in the Manila Metro region.

In the award of government contracts, the city mayor also vowed to combat kickbacks, created a 24/7 public information and complaint hotline, and formally engaged civil society groups in the budgeting and policy making of the city, the agency noted.

The young leader also ordered a reduction of at least 10 percent in the value of all city government contracts, a move intended to minimize bribery in the contract award process.

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

"The State Department continues to stand by citizens around the world calling for transparent, accountable governments. We proudly recognize these international champions of anticorruption and all those who have taken a stand against corruption," the US State Department added.


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