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NBI says Vico Sotto violated Palace memo vs. public transport

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto was summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) not for violating a law but of a memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, an official of the bureau said Thursday.

"Iyong letter of invitation, for Mayor Vico saka sa barangay chairman of Talon Uno. We are investigating for possible violation nung memorandum ng Executive Secretary," said NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin on Dobol B sa News TV.

Sotto allegedly violated the memorandum when he allowed the continuous operation of tricycles in his city despite the ban on mass transport due to the enhanced community quarantine.

The memorandum was issued on March 16 while Sotto's supposed violation happened on March 17 and 18.

The ban on mass public transport was also included in the recently enacted Bayanihan to Heal as One law, which Sotto said he was accused of violating.

Lavin made the response after the NBI drew flak for urging Sotto to explain his possible violation even if the Pasig mayor has stopped the use of tricycles on March 19, the same day that he was reprimanded for it by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

“Maliwanag po sa sulat na pinadala: continuous tricycle operation. May hawak po iyong investigation division namin na may continuous tricycle operation na ipinatupad sa sinabing lugar,” Lavin said.

Lavin, however, conceded that Pasig City is presently compliant with the mass transport ban which includes tricycles.

“Hindi hanggang ngayon [ay may tricycle pa rin]. But I am not privy…I do not want to go into the details of the matter [na hawak ng investigation division]. I do not want to preempt them,” he said.

Since Sotto was reprimanded for using tricycles for ferrying health workers and patients needing medical care, the City government has purchased e-tricycles to address such problem. --KBK, GMA News