The US State Department has included Pasig City mayor Victor “Vico” Sotto as among the world’s “Anti Corruption Champions” in its International Anticorruption Champions Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership, courage and impact on preventing corruption.
This award, launched under the administration of President Joe Biden, advances Washingtons support of “anti-corruption leaders and innovators.”
Sotto is described as “a standard-bearer- for a new generation of Philippines politicians who prioritize anti-corruption and transparency initiatives in their election campaigns and office.”
In 2019, Sotto defeated an incumbent mayor whose family governed Pasig city for 27 years.
Sotto was among the 12 individuals who were recognized by Washington and is the only Filipino on the list.
The other champions named are:
1. Ardian Dvorani, judge and member of the Justice Appointments Council of Albania;
2. Diana Salazar, Ecuador’s attorney general;
3. Sophia Pretrick, investigative advisor for the Compliance Investigation Division of the Pohnpei State Auditor of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM);
4. Juan Francisco Sandoval Alfaro, chief of the Special Prosecutors Office Against Corruption and Impunity in Guatemala;
5. Ibrahima Kalil Gueye, Chair and co-founder of the Organization for Positive Change, an NGO focusing on good governance, peace, and education in Guinea;
6. Anjali Bhardwaj, an active member of the Right to Information Movement in India;
7. Dhuha A. Mohammed, director-general for Electronic Payments at the Central Bank of Iraq;
8. Mustafa Abdullah Sanalla, chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation;
9. Francis Ben Kaifala, commissioner of Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC);
10. Ruslan Ryaboshapka, former prosecutor general in Ukraine; and
11. Bolot Temirov, investigative journalist and editor-in-chief of Factcheck.kg in the Kyrgyz Republic
“As President Biden has emphasized, our commitment to truth, transparency, and accountability is a mission that we must live at home and exemplify abroad. I commend the dedication of these 12 brave individuals to these same ideals,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“They inspire us and so many of their counterparts pursuing these ideals around the world,” he added.
BY KHALID MANGONDATO