#ProtectVico trends after NBI summons Pasig mayor

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Social media has gone to an uproar after it was reported that Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto had been summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over alleged violations of Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act of 2020.

Just minutes after news broke, social media had been filled with messages of love and support for the mayor, with the hashtag ‘#ProtectVico’ shooting up to the top of the trends on Twitter in the Philippines and Worldwide.

Celebrities were also quick to react to the news, expressing their anger towards the NBI and to the government in general.

Actress Jodi Sta. Maria expressed her confusion as to why Vico was being targeted instead of others.

Actress Janine Gutierrez, who has been known as a vocal critic of the current administration’s policies, questioned why authorities had focused against the mayor and not Senator Koko Pimentel, who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, who was under fire for her alleged lack of action during the Enhanced Community Quarantine over Luzon.

Actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin, who once endorsed Pimentel, struck a similar tone, and so did fellow actress Angelica Panganiban.

Sen. Pimentel quickly went under fire online when it was revealed that he accompanied his pregnant wife to give birth at the Makati Medical Center on the same day that test results confirmed he was positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, actress and singer Kim Chiu, who had once told the press that she voted for President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential elections, expressed her anger towards the national government.

Actress Bela Padilla tagged Panganiban and Chiu in her tweet, which included a photo of American singers Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Pink dressed in Roman gladiator costumes, and dubbed their trio as ‘AngBeKi’, as sort of a protection squad for the Pasig mayor.

Vico Sotto is the son of two celebrities, actors Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes.

Sotto’s popularity online has been steadily growing since his mayoralty run in the 2019 elections and has been touted as one of the most inspiring politicians in the country.

He was invited to appear at the NBI on Tuesday, April 7, for allowing tricycles to operate despite the national government’s temporary ban on public transport services.

He had suspended tricycle operations on March 17, days before the effectivity of R.A. 11469 on March 25.