By Ben Rosario
Hugpong ng Pagbabago chairperson and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Saturday scoffed at Vice President Leni Robredo for airing views about honesty in politics, saying that her failure to respond to reports linking her to a married man makes her unqualified to talk about the subject.
“Leni Robredo, should avoid commenting about honesty and integrity. Her honesty has been questioned since day one of her term as Vice President,” Duterte said in a press statement.
The lady mayor added: “She is not called fake VP for no reason.”
Duterte was clearly irked by Robredo’s comment about the mayor’s bid to downplay the controversy over the alleged fake school records of Hugpong senatorial bet and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
“Everybody lies,” commented Duterte.
In an apparent jab at the mayor, Robredo urged all candidates to be honest and tell the truth about themselves. She pointed out that lying was an insult to voters.
“She (Robredo) has tried to copy her late husband but has failed at every turn. She is facing an electoral protest for massive fraud during the 2016 elections,” said Duterte, referring to Robredo’s late husband former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The lady mayor also charged back at Robredo by touching on the widow’s alleged romance with a married man.
“She has refused to answer allegations of her relationship with a married man. She may or may not get away with these but we all know she is not forthcoming in everything,” stated the HNP senatorial team campaign manager.
“The reason why good moral character is not a requirement to run for Vice President is because we have so many Leni Robredos in this world,” she stressed.
Duterte added: “And if she insists in saying that you have to be honest to run for public office, then she must say goodbye to her dreams of becoming President.”
The exchange may have triggered an early showdown between the two lady politicians who are expected to face each other in the 2022 presidential race.
Robredo said politicians who are not honest have no business running for public office.
“Kung ang premise nito [sa pangangampanya ay] kasinungalingan, dinadaya natin ang taumbayan. Kapag sinabi mong okay na lang magsinungaling—parang insulto yata ito sa electorate,” she said. (If the premise of campaign is dishonesty, then you are cheating the public. If you say it is okay to tell a lie, then you are insulting the electorate.”
Turning to Marcos, Robredo, supporter of the Otso Diretso senatorial team, said the senatorial candidate should tell the truth about her educational background.
Otso Diretso candidates have accused Marcos of being dishonest for claiming she earned college degree and law degree at Princeton University and UP College of Law, respectively. The two schools disputed her claim.