CAGAYAN, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo urged Ilocos Norte Governor and senatorial candidate Imee Marcos to just be upfront about her false claims of having received degrees from two universities.
“Kung totoo nga na hindi [siya] nag-graduate, maging upfront na lang (If she really did not graduate, she should just be upfront about it),” Robredo said in a chance interview with reporters during her visit in Tuguegarao on Thursday, March 7.
Marcos, a senatorial candidate of presidential daughter Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago, has been criticized for falsely claiming that she graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law, and obtained a degree from Princeton University.
Both universities denied Marcos’ claims.
Marcos has been dodging questions from media regarding her academic records, and has repeatedly said that she is campaigning to lay out her platform.
“‘Yung sa akin kasi, wala namang masama kung hindi nag-graduate, kasi maraming dahilan. Hindi naman ‘yan indispensable para makapagsilbi sa bayan. Pero ‘yung mali ay magsisinungaling tayo about it,” Robredo said.
(For me, there is nothing wrong with not graduating, because there are many reasons for that. It’s not indispensable in public service. What is wrong is when we lie about graduating.)
Robredo, the Liberal Party chairperson who has been campaigning for the Otso Diretso senatorial slate, also reacted to Sara Duterte’s statement that honesty should not be an issue during elections.
Duterte on Wednesday, March 6, said Marcos’ false claims about academic degrees should not be an issue, because “everyone lies anyway.”
The Vice President said Duterte’s remark is an “insult to the electorate” who votes based on the candidates’ campaign messaging.
“Ako, hindi ako sang-ayon, at tingin ko bawat Pilipino hindi sang-ayon na okay lang magsinungaling (I disagree, and I think every Filipino disagrees that it’s okay to lie),” she said.
She added that honesty is needed during election campaigns, as this is the time when candidates inform voters about themselves and their platforms.
“‘Yung pagpili [ng isang voter] ay binabase niya sa information na ibinibigay, pero kung ‘yung information na ibinibigay sa kanya ay kasinungalingan, unfair naman sa kanya ‘yun,” Robredo said.
(A voter chooses based on the information given to him, but if the information given to him is a lie, it’s unfair for him.) – Rappler.com