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Duterte doesn't give direct answer when asked if honesty should be an election issue

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte doesn't give direct answer when asked if honesty should be an election issue
President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio make their way inside the BFA International Convention Center in Boao, People's Republic of China for the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2018 on April 10, 2018.
Simeon Celi Jr. / Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Should honesty be an election issue? 

President Rodrigo Duterte did not give a categorical answer when he was asked the question on Thursday, saying there are things that are left unsaid.

"It depends. It depends. If you're hanging by the thread of what good use would it be, if it just create trouble," the president told reporters in a chance interview during the 122nd anniversary in Fort Bonifacio.

"There are things left unsaid and there are things which you can answer correctly. Okay?" he added. 

Duterte's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio recently drew criticism over a statement about lying candidates.

READSara Duterte responds to criticism over Imee Marcos’ degree: Everyone’s a liar

Defending some senatorial bets of the administration, Duterte-Carpio, the head of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, claimed there is no candidate who does not lie.

She said opposition senatorial bet and Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano had lied when he claimed that government funds were used to buy the campaign shirts of former presidential aide Christopher Go. 

READ: Diokno on Sara Duterte’s ‘everyone lies’ statement: ‘Panay palusot

"Sinasabi ko, sa kanilang lahat, walang isang kandidato d’yan na hindi nagsisinungaling kaya hindi dapat nagiging issue ang honesty ngayon (I tell you, there is no candidate who does not lie so honesty should not be an issue now)," Duterte-Carpio told reporters in Parañaque last March 6. 

Malacañang has refused to react to the presidential daughter's remark but claimed it was not possible to say whether a candidate is honest unless one has "personal dealings" with the politician. 

READ: Palace says it's up to voters to decide if honesty is an election issue

Duterte-Carpio, later on, claimed she was helping the opposition candidates to "dig themselves out of their own hole" when she made the remark. She claimed the opposition use "inaccurate, misleading statements and lies" when they attack other candidates or the president. 

"They know they are stretching the truth and yet they deny that they are lying,” the presidential daughter said in a statement issued last March 7. 

“That is the reason why they should not attack other candidates about honesty because they are themselves liars. This is the truth. And this shows in their dismal performance in the race,” she added.

READ: ‘No more Inday Sara show’ after mom scolds her over word war with opposition

Interestingly, the president has been using the phrase "fundamentally honest" to describe senatorial bet and former police chief Ronald dela Rosa. During an oath-taking of members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan in San Juan last month, the party's president Sen. Koko Pimentel said Duterte wants "honest candidates."

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

RODRIGO DUTERTE

SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO

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