Like a whiff of fresh air, the emergence of a new breed of local leaders in the mold of Isko Moreno, Vico Sotto and Francis Zamora is indeed exhilarating.
No less than the Interior and Local Government Secretary, Eduardo Año, praised the young and dynamic mayors in Metro Manila who, right at bat, made drastic changes in their respective cities — Moreno in Manila, Sotto in Pasig and Zamora in San Juan.
The three took over from traditional politicians whom they clobbered in the last midterm elections.
Año said he has high hopes for the young leaders whom he called the faces of change in the political landscape.
Moreno, who toppled a political giant in Joseph Estrada, swept major areas like Divisoria, Blumentrit and Carriedo of sidewalk vendors and slammed sledgehammers on video karera machines and illegally-built barangay barracks, all in his first week in office. He sacked nine police officers from the Manila Police District station 11 over their failure to address illegal vendors in Divisoria.
The new mayor, who rose from the slums, publicly shamed bribers whom he said offered P5 million a day, P150 million a month and P1.8 billion a year in exchange for keeping the vendors on the streets. “If you see the vendors and the chaos back, that means I have accepted the bribe,” he was quoted to have said.
Sotto, who ended the 27-year hold of the Eusebio clan in Pasig, had for his first official act an order stopping the apprehension of violators of the odd-even scheme, one of the biggest complaints of residents and motorists. The son of comedian Vic Sotto and former actress Coney Reyes also formed a task force that would review the city’s overall traffic situation and program.
The first executive order of Zamora, who defeated former actress Guia Gomez, mother of former Senator JV Ejercito, aims for more transparency in the city’s expenses. The order institutionalizes the local government integrity system to keep tabs on all government transactions.