Vico Sotto wins fresh term as Pasig mayor, as slate dominates city race

MANILA (UPDATED) – Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto on Monday won a second term with a landslide victory and a city council dominated by his allies.

Sotto won the mayoral race against Vice Mayor Iyo Bernardo 335,851 to 45,604.

“Nakita po natin na malinaw ang mandato sa atin ng Pasigueño,” he told reporters after the proclamation.

“Sana ngayong tapos na ang eleksyon, magkaisa tayo hindi para sa pulitika, hindi para sa tao o partido pero kungdi kung ano yung makakabuti para sa buong lungsod,” he said.

Former Pasig Rep. Dodot Jaworski – Sotto’s running mate – also won as vice mayor with 205,250 votes, a with huge margin against rivals Mario “Junjun” Concepcion (87,716) and Christian Sia (76,028).

Jaworski’s resurgence in politics comes after a 15-year hiatus from public service.

The former Pasig representative ran for city mayor in 2007 but lost to former Mayor Bobby Eusebio.

“I hope that this time around, with the experience I gained in the private sector, I hope itong pagkakataong ito I can even do a lot better and serve the people of Pasig even at a higher level,” Jaworski said.

“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to be once again be able to serve the people of Pasig.”

Back in 2007, Jaworski – whose car was bombed months before he formalized his mayoralty bid – accused his rival of manipulating the elections returns.

The landslide victory in this year’s polls is a form of vindication, Pasig’s vice mayor-elect said.

“It’s also partly a vindication on my part, but at the same time I’ve learned to move forward,” he said.

“We try to learn from the past but with Mayor Vico’s leadership, I believe he can steer Pasig into greater heights and I’ll be right there behind him to help him all the way,” he said.

ROMULO RETAINS CONGRESSIONAL SEAT

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo – Sotto’s political mentor – secured another term in the House of Representatives after getting 304,157 votes, giving him a comfortable lead against Ricky Eusebio (54,431) and Rex Maliuanag (3,977).

In his second term as Pasig representative, Romulo said he would still prioritize pushing for policies that would reform the education sector.

“Nakita natin sa pandemiya na from kinder to grade 3, importante na makapagbasa at maintindihan yung mga bata,” he said.

While he hopes to retain his current position as the Education Committee chairperson in the House of Representatives, Romulo said he has yet to decide if he would be part of the majority or minority bloc when the new Congress opens in July.

“For now i think i will stay as an independent and we’ll see how it goes,” he said.

“Kung ‘yung sasabihin, ilalatag nila sa atin na gagawin ay sang-ayon tayo, then we can join the majority, but I’ll wait first kung ano ‘yung ilalatag nila, kung ano ‘yung mga gusto nila, ‘yung legislation na gusto nilang i-prioritize,” he said.

SOTTO GETS ‘OVERWHELMING MAJORITY’ IN CITY COUNCIL

Pasig’s city council slate was also dominated by Sotto’s allies, but the 32-year-old mayor’s first full slate fell short of sweeping this year’s election after Reggie Balderrama bagged a spot in the first district.

Balderramma occupied the final council slot in the first district with 49,297 votes, making Paul Senogat the lone “Giting ng Pasig” candidate who lost in the polls.

“We’re very happy, if not relieved, that we have an overwhelming majority of councilors,” the 32-year-old mayor said.

“Now it will be easier to go about business. Yung mga kailangan natin gawin, mga revisions sa revenue code natin, mga kailangan nating ordinansa, resolusyon para sa ikabubuti ng ating lungsod mas madali na po nating magagawa,” he said.

“Ngayon, I am very confident that we have a city council that is aligned with our vision for clean and honest and transparent governance in our city.”

Pasig’s city council winners are as follows:
DISTRICT 1

  • Kiko Rustia (80,136)
  • Simon Romulo Tantoco (74,384)
  • Pao Santiago (61,789)
  • Volta Delos Santos (51,745)
  • Kap Eric Gonzales (50,316)
  • Reggie Balderrama (49,297)

DISTRICT 2

  • Angelu De Leon (138,427)
  • Corie Raymundo (120,977)
  • Syvel Asilo (99,159)
  • Buboy Agustin (97,218)
  • Quin Kin Cruz (94,473)
  • Maro Martires (75,566)

Asilo is not a member of “Giting ng Pasig.” Sotto only had 5 candidates for councilor in the second district after TV host Gabriel Bayan withdrew his certificate of candidacy earlier this year.

Bernardo and other losing candidates earlier gathered in a midnight protest outside the Pasig City Hall, casting doubts on Sotto’s landslide victory.

“It’s definitely unbelievable. I did not foresee it,” Bernardo told reporters. “I am not gonna concede an election that I feel I was cheated.”

The vice mayor said his “only recourse” would be to file a petition for a manual recount.

Sotto shrugged off Bernardo’s plan to seek a recount of votes.

“I wish him all the best. I wish him peace of mind,” the re-elected mayor said. “Kung ano ‘yung maging reaction ng isang tao, isang kandidato sa resulta [ng halalan], that’s a reflection of one’s character.”

Sotto urged his political rivals and their supporters to cooperate with his administration, saying that political bickering during election season should be over by now.

“Sana ano man ang posisyon natin bago mag eleksyon, ano man ang naging partido natin o kulay ng pulitika natin, sana ngayong tapos na ang halalan, sana lahat tayo ay magtrabaho para sa ikagaganda ng ating lungsod.”

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