MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Friday honesty should be a "given" for those seeking public office, as administration and opposition candidates traded barbs over the importance of truthfulness.
Honesty is a "huge factor" in determining a person's integrity, and those who don't have it should not even think of entering public service, Robredo said.
"Iyong honesty, napakalaking factor sa integrity ng isang tao. Kung wala kang ganoon, dapat hindi mo nga iniisip maglingkod kasi papaano ka makakapaglingkod kung may problema ka sa sarili mo?"Robredo said.
(Honesty is a huge factor in one's integrity. If you don't have that, you should not be thinking about public service because how could you serve if you have problems with yourself?)
"Ang nakakalungkot na kailangan pa pagdebatehan kung kailangan honest o hindi. ‘Di ba dapat given na yon? Nakakagulat," Robredo said.
(What's saddening is that honesty still has to be debated on. Isn't that supposed to be a given? It's surprising.)
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier said honesty should not be an election issue since there is no single candidate who does not lie. President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest daughter, is the chairman of the administration regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
Duterte-Carpio first made the remark after Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano from the opposition senatorial slate claimed that government funds were used in the distribution of campaign t-shirts of Hugpong bet Christopher "Bong" Go, which were distributed during a public assembly attended by barangay officials.
She clarified on Thursday that she was helping opposition candidates dig themselves out of a hole because they give "inaccurate, misleading statements and even direct lies when they attack other candidates or President Duterte."
Robredo on Friday attended the International Women’s Day Summit organized by Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran in Taguig City.
In her keynote speech, she emphasized that various sectors should continue to work on women empowerment.
“When our leaders joke about rape and normalize abuse, shouldn’t we be alarmed?” Robredo said.