CELEBRITIES took to social media to throw their support behind Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, after NBI sent a letter to the local executive asking him to explain the alleged breach of quarantine protocols.
On April 1, #ProtectVico was top trending on Twitter not only in the country but also worldwide.
Angel Locsin, actress and philanthropist, had this to say: “Hindi ako nagmamarunong sa batas, pero sa opinion ko, si Koko ang dapat ipatawag at hindi si Vico.”
Koko, of course, refers to Sen. Koko Pimentel, who had netizens and medical workers in uproar after breaking quarantine protocols. Angel apologized for campaigning in 2007 for Pimentel, who, she explained, was the ex-husband of her cousin, Jewel Lobaton.
Bela Padilla, who recently campaigned to raise over P3 million for the urban poor, also expressed her disappointment: “Sayang. May taong tumayo na at gumalaw para sa mga tao. Pinapaupo ulit. #protectvicosotto”
Actress Jodi Sta. Maria was confused. “Si Vico Sotto talaga?! Bakit NBI? Ano meron? Eh yung iba? Nakakapanghina na minsan yung mga desisyon nyo,” she wrote.
Mayor Vico is busy, said Janine Gutierrez. “Busy po siya, Bakit hindi na lang si Senator Koko Pimental ang ipatawag ninyo? Or ‘yung isang Mayor, marami daw po kasi naghahanap sa kanya.”
Angelica Panganiban was frustrated. “Wala silang mapag initan. Si Mayor Vico talaga? Kung sino pa may natutulong at maayos na Sistema, siya pa kakasuhan? HANEP! Eh nasan na yung nagkalat ng virus sa Makati Med? So far kasi yun pa lang nagagawa niya. Ikalata ang virus. Mapapamura ka na lang pala talaga,” she wrote.
Kim Chiu shared Angelica’s frustration. “Like what???!!! Yoko na!!!! Ang hirap sa ph govt, pag gumawa ka ng mabuti sa kapwa mas nakakataas ang makakabangga mo, pag gumawa ka ng hindi mabuti kaming mga netizens lang ang kalaban mo at ang nakakataas ay 🤐🤐🤐🤐,” said Kim.
Singer Zsa Zsa Padilla was dumbfounded: “Like, seriously? Is it because he makes everyone else look bad at their supposed job?! Unbelievable. Pwede ba kayong magpaka busy sa ibang bagay?! Busy si Mayor. Tantanan nyo naman sya, please! Dami pa nyang gagawin. #OnlyInThePhils #ProtectVico.”
She also wrote #ProtectVico thirteen times and asked her followers to re-tweet the message.
Alessandra de Rossi was looking for the “compassion” that DOJ Sec. Guevarra said it had extended to Sen. Pimentel. “Teka, asan ulit yung human compassion? Nalito na ang feelings ko,” she wrote.
Parokya ni Edgar’s Chito Miranda said, “Kung sino pa yung maayos magtrabaho (at mahal na mahal ng mga tao), sa panahong kelangan na kelangan nila nang maayos at matino na namumuno sa lugar nila…bilang may mga gustong umepal.”
Ping Medina warned of a reckoning. “Pulitika pa more mga demonyo kayo. Iisa-isahin naming kayo pagkatapos ng quarantine.”
Host Gretchen Ho and singer Julie Anne San Jose both kept it short. They had two-word reactions in reaction to the news.
Gretchen said, “Wrong move,” while Julie Anne wrote “Nabuang na.”
Vico’s own uncle, “Eat Bulaga” host and politician, Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto, joined the throng:
“What are they talking about? Laws are never retroactive if detrimental to any accused,” he said on Twitter.
“NBI will be well advised to be cautious in their interpretation of the law I principally authored. Any so-called violation of RA 11469 can’t be retroactive.”
Several film industry workers also expressed their discomfiture about what’s happening with the government.
Editor-producer Chuck Gutierrez (“Sunday Beauty Queen”) said: “NBI wants to investigate Pasig Mayor for being creative in providing solutions. Why not investigate the Mayor of Mandaluyong who just disappeared after the pandemic instead?”
Filmmaker Kip Oebanda (“Liway”) said, “NBI, ‘yung tricycle talaga ni Vico Sotto ang tutukan nkiyo? Alam niyo naman that you can’t try a person for a crime when no law exists to punish. Hindi man lang ang mga mayor na walang ginagawa? Hindi man lang ang senator na nagkalat ng virus? Namamatay na ang mga PInoy pamumulitika pa rin priority niyo.”
Writer Rodolfo Vera (“Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan, “Die Beautiful”) wrote:
“4 Simple Questions….
“1. Kailan pinasa yung Bayanihan Act? March 23
“2. Kailang nangyari yung Pasig mayor tricycle incident? March 18
“3. Kailan nangyari yung Makati Med incident with a senator? March 24
“4. At sino ang iniimbestigahan for violation ng Bayanihan Act?
On April 1, the National Bureau of Investigation sent a letter inviting the 30-year-old Pasig mayor to explain an alleged violation of quarantine protocols.
Department of Justice Sec. Menardo Guevera later denied that Sotto was being targeted.
DILG, meanwhile, said the move of the NBI was “useless political distraction.”
Mayor Vico appealed to the national government to exempt tricycles from the ban on public transportation.
“I am not yet even considering the social and economic effects of prohibiting tricycles. We are talking about the potential damage to public health and a possible loss of lives,” he wrote on Facebook on March 18.
The Palace rejected Sotto’s appeal. On March 19, the Pasig mayor said they will abide by the guidelines of the mandatory ban on all modes of mass transportation.
Aside from #ProtectVico, #OUSTDUTERTENOW and Pilipinas also trended worldwide on Twitter on April 1.