Vico Sotto shuts down foreign-owned businesses without permits

MANILA, Philippines – Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Saturday, March 7, closed down several establishments owned by foreigners that operated without a permit.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Sotto said that the city government padlocked businesses that were not following their laws.

"Kung legal at may tamang mga permit, puwede naman mag negosyo sa atin eh," he said. (If it's legal and they have the right permits, they can do business in this city.)

While Sotto did not name the establishments in his post, one of the photos depicted a facade of a restaurant with the menu Chinese characters, as the Pasig City mayor watched the police padlock the door.

The second photo showed a rice cooker outside the door, while the 3rd photo showed Sotto, crossing his arms, talking to a man inside what seemed to be a kitchen.

Since taking office in June last year, Sotto had waged a war against illegal businesses and workers in Pasig City. In February, he ordered the shutdown of a Chinese restaurant that lacked permits.

The Pasig City mayor had also warned against transacting with operators of illegal businesses in the city, especially those in the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) industry.

"Hindi n'yo po talaga ako makukumbinse na okay ang POGO para sa Pasig City. (You cannot convince me that POGOs are good for Pasig City)," Sotto had said on March 2.

Sotto had earlier suspended two officials at the city hall's environment department, as he investigated the "suspicious" trend of errant establishments still getting licenses to operate. – with reports from Aika Rey/