Rappler Talk: 100 days on, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto vows never to become ‘trapo’

MANILA, Philippines – Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto is confident in what his fledgling administration achieved in its first 100 days, especially because there are some pretty solid plans laid out for the long haul. For example: a tripled health care budget, a beefed-up education and scholarship program, and an anti-corruption campaign that has sent quite a few officials packing and facing investigation.

Moreover, Sotto is confident in his own track record. There is an easiness to the way he speaks with people or addresses crowds, which one may attribute to – he swears – his clear conscience.

If anything, the chink in his armor, so to speak, could be that he doesn’t seem to be wearing any. He does not, and would not, attack his political opponent, who "would all but shoot him just to get back in power," a member of a Pasig-based civic group told Rappler.

Sotto vows never to resort to the same “black ops” and disinformation campaigns the city’s former power runs against him, lest he turns into the very evil he is trying to fight, he says.

Against well-meaning advice to play a little of the old political game for survival, Sotto says he will never become a “trapo,” a wordplay on “traditional politician” and the Tagalog word for a filthy rag.

But then what would become of the reforms he has only just begun to push for, if his opponent bounces back with a vengeance? How much does his own political survival matter to the new mayor?

Beyond the valedictory figures of his first 100 days in office, Mayor Sotto tells Rappler’s JC Gotinga about what’s next for Pasig City under his leadership, and his thoughts on his own future in politics. – Rappler.com