Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto suspected his opponents of being behind “black propaganda” as he debunked claims saying he would ban riding-in-tandem or the practice two individuals riding a motorcycle together.
The local chief executive shared a screenshot of an individual warning Pasig riders through a Facebook group about the alleged directive and tagged it as “fake news.”
The particular post reads: “Sa mga rider ng Pasig (diyan)… gaano katotoo ‘tong bulong-bulungan… umabot na (sa’min) sa Cainta ang balita… masakit ‘to ‘pag nangyari nga.”
An enlarged text could also be seen below it which reads: “This guy wants to ban riding-in-tandem in Pasig City… are you ready riders?”
Sotto slammed the social media claims, calling it a form “black propaganda” which he said have continuously spread ever since he filed for candidacy as mayor.
#FakeNews Alert!!! Simula nung nag-file ako ng kandidatura hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin tumitigil ang Black Propaganda…
“Simula nung nag-file ako ng kandidatura hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin tumitigil ang black propaganda nila,” Sotto began.
“Ang pagpapatuloy nila sa black propaganda ay isang patunay na gutom sila sa kapangyahiran — handa silang gumawa ng kuwento at siraan ang bagong pamunuan, dahil pansariling interes lamang ang nasa utak nila,” he continued.
Not directly naming anyone, Sotto claimed that his opponents tapped Pasig City hall employees to act as “trolls” on social media when they were still in power.
“Nung nakaupo pa sila, empleyado pa mismo ng city hall ang ginagamit nila bilang mga troll (marami nang umaamin). Ngayon, gumagastos sila ng milyon-milyon para lang manira sa social media (isa sa mga operator nila ang mismong nagkuwento sa akin),” he said.
Sotto ended his post by encouraging his constituents and supporters to stop spreading negativity on the internet. He also added the phrases “#FightFakeNews” and “#ReportTheTrolls” as hashtags.
The fall of Pasig’s dynasty
Vico, son of actors Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes, ended the 27-year-old hold of the Eusebios when he won as Pasig City mayor in the 2019 midterm polls.
He defeated its former city chief Robert “Bobby” Eusebio—who has been in power from 2007 to 2013 and 2016 to 2019—by 86,500 votes.
Eusebio filed an electoral protest shortly after Sotto’s victory but it was junked by the Commission on Elections for its insufficiency in form and substance.
According to the poll body, the defeated mayoral aspirant’s protest “failed to reflect a detailed specification of the acts of omission complained of showing electoral fraud, anomalies or irregularities in the protested precincts.”
During the campaign season, Sotto’s father claimed in an interview that Eusebio, when he was still mayor, banned the selling of “biko” or rice cakes in the city since it sounded similar to his rival’s name.
“Alam mo pinagbawal ang pagbenta ng biko? Ganoon ka-petty. Akala ko joke lang eh, hindi, totoo pala,” Vic Sotto said to ABS-CBN News showbiz reporter Mario Dumawal before.
“Sabi ko nga eh, ‘Pag-upo ni Vico, makakain na ulit ng biko, puwede na ulit magbenta ng biko sa Pasig,” he added.