MANILA — Vice-presidential aspirant and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Friday dismissed claims that his family was becoming a political dynasty, with some members of his clan aiming for re-election in some Metro Manila cities this year.
In an interview with the ANC, the lawmaker said the Sotto clan could not even be considered a “dynasty”.
“There is no dynasty. Mayor Vico is in Pasig, while my son is in Quezon City. If we’re all in one place, maybe you can call it a dynasty, but we’re not. “, explained Sotto.
A political dynasty is when members of a family hold elective positions in government successively or simultaneously with other members to maintain political control.
Data analyzed by survey and research group ABS-CBN showed that the Sottos, like the Zamoras, have diversified into different cities in the capital region.
Three members of the Sotto family will run for various elective positions in Quezon City, Pasig and Parañaque, while the president of the Senate is aiming for vice president.
Sotto’s son, Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Carlo Sotto, is seeking re-election.
The senator’s nephew, Vico Sotto, mayor of Pasig, is also seeking re-election, while the senator’s niece-in-law, Nina Celine Sotto, is seeking to replace her husband, Wahoo, as councilor for Parañaque’s 2nd District.
Despite this, Sotto said, “There’s no one running for the Senate now that my term is up. I don’t think we fall into that category…You leave it up to the people.”
But the vice-presidential candidate admitted that they were among the first political clans in the country, noting that his great-uncle Filemon Sotto and his grandfather, Vicente Sotto, were both senators.
“Sabay sila eh. There were 2 Sottos and there were 2 Roccos in the 1935 Constitution kaya kami ang original na dynasty,” he said.
(They were both senators. There were 2 Sottos and 2 Roccos in the 1935 Constitution, which is why we are the original dynasty.)
Political dynasties are prohibited under the Constitution, but the provision requires enabling legislation, which Congress has failed to pass for the past 33 years.
In the May elections, Sotto will face Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Dr. Willie Ong, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Representative Lito Atienza, Jr., among other candidates for vice president.