Public officials legally required to be honest, says ex-ombudsman Morales
MANILA, Philippines – The latest to join the bizarre election debate on honesty is former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales who said that public officials are not only morally required but legally mandated to be honest.
“The word honesty is in the Constitution, which explicitly declares that ‘the State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service.’ Upholding the Constitution is part of every public officer’s oath of office,” Morales said in a statement on Thursday, March 21.
Morales is reacting to the statement of her niece-in-law, presidential daughter Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio who said during a Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) rally that ‘everybody lies, honesty should not be an issue.’
As pointed out by Morales, honesty is found in Philippine laws. In fact, the very Code of Conduct for Public Officials penalizes dishonesty.
“Honesty is, therefore, a matter of oath derived from legal sources, not a matter of option driven by market forces,” said Morales.
Morales, the former graft-buster, said voters should choose candidates who are honest.
“If we do not exact or demand honesty in our candidates, we might end up voting for fake public servants who are dishonest and will betray the public trust for personal gain,” Morales said.
In a separate statement, the board of trustees of the Akademyang Filipino said the “death of honesty” is the “root of all our country’s problems.”
“We must come together to revive these core values — the very foundations of strong institutions, and just and sovereign nations — in our educational system and by the example of our leaders and those who hold positions of power,” said the group’s board which includes Morales and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. – Rappler.com