MANILA - Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Thursday said public officials are required by the Constitution to be honest.
In a statement, Morales said the word "honesty" is in the Philippine Constitution, and is part of a public official's mandate.
"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," she said.
"Honesty is, therefore, a matter of oath derived from legal sources, not a matter of option driven by market forces," Morales added.
She also said the public should demand honesty in political candidates.
"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.
The issue of honesty of politicians and public officials became a hot topic after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier said honesty should not be an election issue.
Malacañang has also said not all voters may be looking at honesty as an important qualification in choosing their candidates in the elections.
Duterte-Carpio later clarified that her statement was directed towards the opposition. She explained that the opposition shouldn’t attack other candidates over honesty when they themselves are liars.