At first I thought, what the heck is she saying? And then I realised Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio could be history’s most honest politician after admitting that all politicians lie. She said this in defence of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos who is being hit with allegations that she lied about having a Law degree from the University of the Philippines and graduating from the Ivy League school Princeton University. The jury is still out on whether the late former President Ferdinand Marcos’s daughter did graduate or not from the said universities, but it is safe to say that President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter makes a good point.
Carpio was simply telling the truth, particularly after she clarified that she was referring to the members of the Opposition specifically since they have been known to lie. She singled out current Vice President Leni Robredo and reminded everyone that there is still an election protest underway against her and until the outcome of that is finalised, Robredo cannot speak with authority about “honesty” and “integrity”.
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It is a fact that Robredo turned a blind eye to irregularities in the 2016 Presidential Elections especially when her numbers went up and overtook that of former senator and rival in the Vice Presidential race Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr after a Smartmatic personnel inserted a script into the system software in the middle of vote canvassing. Most of us were shocked as it was happening, but Robredo’s camp acted like there was nothing unusual about someone interrupting a vote count.
Robredo is still turning a blind eye to reported irregularities during the recount of votes being conducted by the Supreme Court acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal in response to Marcos’s protest. There were reports that some ballots that were brought in were wet or missing. Robredo was not even worried about them, giving the public the impression that she is okay with that information. One would think that Robredo would be the first to react considering her position is the one being questioned. One would think that Robredo would be showing concern and calling for an investigation, but we only read about her accusing Marcos of inventing things.
Robredo and her camp are also defending the ridiculous idea that it is okay for ballots to be shaded less than fifty percent of the space provided for selecting candidates. Again, her indifference to the Commission on Election (COMELEC) rules being broken is giving the public the impression that she is okay with allegations that those ballots were pre-shaded.
Robredo also lied in her 2017 pre-recorded video addressing the United Nations about Duterte’s war on drugs policy. She claimed that there were 7,000 killings as a result of summary executions conducted by the Philippine National Police. Her statements were not even backed by data from the agency or an objective source. In her effort to put down the President, she also painted the police in a bad light and inadvertently humiliated the entire society by giving the international community a negative impression of the Philippines. That is enough proof that Robredo is one of the politicians who have a habit of lying.
Going back to Carpio’s statement about honesty and lying, the Mayor is actually helping educate the members of the voting public. Carpio is basically saying that the public should take what politicians are saying with a level of scepticism – a very high level of healthy scepticism.
It’s like this; politicians make a lot of promises during elections. We don’t know for sure if the candidates are going to keep thier promises or not. If a politician has experience in public service, we can look at his or her track record and see if his or her promises were kept in the past. That can be our basis in choosing to vote or not to vote for that candidate. It’s tough luck for newbies in the arena because the voters have no basis in assessing if they are worth “trusting” or if they will end up like the rest of the bozos in government. And this is essentially what Marcos supporters are saying in their defence regarding her degree – that they don’t really care much about whether she has a degree or not because they are happy with her performance and track record as a public servant. Meanwhile, a lot of her detractors from the Liberal Party particularly those who are also running for a seat in the Senate don’t have a track record to boast about, which is why they focus on negative propaganda in an effort to bring her and the rest of their opponents down.
While all politicians overpromise, some of the promises that get broken is a result of being too idealistic and not doing enough analysis to check if their advocacies are realistic or would pass the “So What?” Test. I suppose we can say that Duterte’s promise to solve criminality in three to six months was a promise that wasn’t thought through. He may have wanted to keep his promise but underestimated the criminal syndicates operating within the police force and government itself. It’s hard to tell who the enemies are when some are in the drug lords’ payrolls. But the reason why Duterte still has a high satisfaction rating even though he did not fulfil his promise to solve criminality as soon as possible is because he is honest enough to admit his mistake and the people see he is doing something about it. More importantly, he has kept a lot of his promises during his campaign. He is a far cry from the previous President BS Aquino who pretended everything was peachy in the country. He was lying of course.
And that is why the Ocho Derecho candidates from the Liberal Party are not very popular in the surveys. They are being dragged down by the appalling track record of their party mates who were previously in power. The voting public still remembers their incompetence and criminal negligence because they still affect Filipinos today. It’s only right that Carpio highlighted them. Politicians from the Liberal party tend to believe their own lies.
In life, things are not always what they seem.