Robredo: If you’re not honest, don’t run for public office

Sofia Tomacruz
Robredo: If you’re not honest, don’t run for public office
'Ang honesty, napakalaking factor sa integrity ng isang tao. Kung wala kang ganoon, dapat hindi mo iniisip maglingkod kasi paano ka makakapaglingkod kung may problema ka sa sarili mo?' says Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said on Friday, March 8, that there should be no debate about it: honesty is a given for anyone who wants to hold public office.

Robredo made the statement in response to questions about the importance of honesty among government officials – a debate sparked by the comment of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte that honesty should not be an issue in choosing candidates since all aspirants lie anyway. 

The Vice President said she was both shocked and dismayed that the issue of honesty among public officials was the subject of debate.

Ang honesty, napakalaking factor sa integrity ng isang tao. Kung wala kang ganun, dapat hindi mo iniisip maglingkod kasi paano ka makakapaglingkod kung may problema ka sa sarili mo? Para sa akin, parang nakakagulat na kailangan maging isyu kung kailangan ba yung pagiging honest o hindi kasi given yun,” she said.

(Honesty is a big factor in a person’s integrity. If you don’t have that, you shouldn’t think of serving because how will you serve if you have a problem with yourself? I think it’s surprising that whether or not you need to be honest should be an issue because it is a given.)

Nakakalungkot na kailangan pang pagdebatehan kung mahalaga ba ‘yang paging honest o hindi…. Hindi na natin dapat pagdebatehan kung kailangan o hindi kasi ‘yun yung important na ingredient na bago pa man mag-ambisyon pumasok sa public service,” Robredo added.

(It’s sad that we need to debate about the importance of being honest. It shouldn’t be up for debate because it’s an important ingredient even before you aspire to go into public service.)

Robredo earleir said that Sara’s remark on honesty – made in defense of her senatorial candidate Imee Marcos – was an “insult to the electorate.” 

Marcos has made claims about her academic degrees that concerned educational institutions – Princeton University and the  University of the Philippines College of Law – said were false.

As for Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo maintained it was up to voters themselves if honesty was a trait they would look for in candidates. – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.