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#AnimatED: Lies, accountability and public officials

When Rappler broke the story on Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s false claims  about his college and graduate degrees, the senator replied belatedly in a statement that his educational record is “accurate.” 

He said he earned a “diploma in political science” from Oxford University – which is miles apart from the “Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics” that he lists in his resumé. 

He admitted that he did not complete his MBA in Wharton University but his resumé says otherwise.

Now, we wonder: what is “accurate” about his inflated educational record? 

The core issue here is trust. The Constitution is amply clear: “Public office is a public trust. Public officers must, all times, be accountable to the people…”

The process of making our officials accountable begins with transparency and correct information. The law requires full disclosure, including family and relations, education, assets and businesses.  

Public officials lying about their educational attainment is a minor matter, others say. Sure, it’s not corruption; it’s not stealing our taxes. 

But can we still believe them? Trust, the bond between the public official and the people, starts to break once it is stained by lies.

An American politician once said, "Someone who lies about the little things will lie about the big things too."

Our tolerance for deception and lying is higher than other countries. If this happened in Japan or Germany, where ethical demands on public office are strict and uncompromising, a politician caught lying would have quit. 

In the Philippines, all types run for public office, truth and accountability be damned. – Rappler.com