Justifying lies: ‘insult’ to the voters

VP Leni: Honesty necessary in public service

Vice President Leni Robredo underscored the importance of truthful public servants, and called for honesty in the ongoing campaign for the 2019 midterm polls.

VP Leni said it would be unfair to the Filipino electorate to run a dishonest campaign, since this period should provide them the information they need to decide on who will get their votes in May.

“Iyong kampanya, ito iyong paraan para makapagdesisyon nang tama iyong taumbayan kung sino iyong kaniyang bobotohan. Kung ang premise nito kasinungalingan, parang ang dinadaya natin, taumbayan,” she said Thursday (March 7) at the sidelines of the Cagayan Valley Business Convergence 2019 in Tuguegarao City.

Asked to comment on Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s assertion that honesty should not be an election issue because “everyone lies,” VP Leni said such justification is an “insult” to the Filipino electorate.

“Ako, hindi ako sang-ayon, at tingin ko bawat Pilipino hindi sang-ayon na okay lang magsinungaling. Kasi iyong kampanya, ito iyong paraan para makilala natin iyong mga kandidato,” she said.

“Kung ang premise niya—kapag sinabi mong okay na lang magsinungaling—parang insulto yata ito sa electorate, kasi iyong taumbayan, siya iyong pipili ng magre-represent sa kaniya. At iyong pagpili niya, nakabase siya sa information na ibinibigay. Pero kung iyong information na ibibigay sa kaniya, kasinungalingan, unfair iyon sa kaniya,” she added.

VP Leni also said the issue lies not on whether Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos earned her degrees from the University of the Philippines College of Law and Princeton University—but on the fact that she lied about it, as shown when the institutions disputed her claims.

“[W]ala namang masama kung hindi nakapag-graduate, kasi maraming dahilan, at hindi naman iyong indispensable para makapagsilbi sa bayan. Pero iyong mali, iyong magsisinungaling tayo about it. Kung totoo nga na hindi nag-graduate, maging upfront na lang, sabihin, ‘Hindi ako naka-graduate, ito iyong dahilan.’ Pero kapag gagawin natin na basehan siya ng kasinungalingan, iyon nga, unfair siya sa taumbayan,” she said.