#ProtectVico trends again as netizens show dismay over NBI's move to summon the Pasig City mayor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 1) — Netizens and celebrities took to social media to express dismay over the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) summoning Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to explain his alleged violation of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

#ProtectVico trended again on Wednesday evening with Twitter users defending the 29-year-old popular mayor. As of writing, the hashtag has over 200,000 tweets. It was also among the top trending topics worldwide.

In March, Sotto ordered the limited deployment of tricycles in the city to serve all frontline personnel, health workers, and patients. This was prohibited under the enhanced community quarantine guidelines, which include the suspension of all public transport.

Sotto pointed out that the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was only enacted on March 24, days after the tricycle issue. The mayor has since complied with the ban after drawing the ire of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

READ: NBI asks Vico Sotto to explain 'violation' of quarantine policy

A number of celebrities took to Twitter to defend the mayor.

Celebrity host and model Bianca Gonzalez said "let the working mayor do his job for his people, it was obvious he only wanted what is best for his constituents."

Actress Angelica Panganiban also questioned the NBI's decision, citing Sotto's effective system that serves his constituents.

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto, who helped author the law, advised the NBI to be cautious in their interpretation. The senator is also the uncle of the mayor.

Netizens and celebrities alike noted the contrast between the government's attitude towards the Pasig mayor and Senator Koko Pimentel. Pimentel violated quarantine rules by visiting Makati Medical Center while awaiting his COVID-19 test results, which turned out to be positive.

No action has since been taken against the senator.