MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – For Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, senatorial candidate Imee Marcos' false claims about academic degrees should not be an issue, because "everyone lies anyway."
"Walang isang kandidato diyan na hindi nagsisinungaling, kaya hindi dapat nagiging issue ang honesty ngayon," said Duterte on Wednesday, March 6, in Parañaque City.
(Not one candidate there doesn't lie, so they should not be making an issue out of honesty.)
Marcos is among the senatorial bets in the slate of Hugpong ng Pagbabago, chaired by Mayor Duterte. (READ: Otso Diretso to Bulacan youth: Will you vote for somebody who lies about college degrees?)
Duterte had said on Tuesday, March 5, that the only qualification for being a senator is the ability to read and write, for which she got criticism online from people saying the issue is not education, but that Marcos was lying.
"Kasi sinasabi nila the issue is not about a college degree but honesty, so ano'ng gagawin natin sa kanila?" said President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter.
(Because they're saying the issue is not about a college degree but honesty, so what do we do about them?)
Duterte also hit opposition bets for supposedly making false statements about the administration of her father.
"Ano'ng gagawin natin sa kanila na they deliberately say false statements onstage about, against the administration of President Duterte? So lahat sila sinungaling. Lahat ng tao sa mundong ito sinungaling," she said.
(What will we do with them when they deliberately say false statements onstage about, against the administration of President Duterte? So all of them are liars. All the people in the world are liars.)
Duterte had said on Tuesday that Marcos assured her she would issue a statement regarding the controversy. On Wednesday, in fact, reporters were told Marcos would grant an interview on the matter after her speech at Hugpong ng Pagbabago's Parañaque City campaign rally.
Media had already gathered in a room at the Olivarez Coliseum because they were told she would go there for the interview. But she was seen leaving the venue and telling reporters who tailed her that she had to leave right away to join House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at an event in Pampanga.
Duterte blasts Alejano
In her interview with media, Mayor Duterte zeroed in on Otso Diretso candidate Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano for supposedly "lying" about public funds being used to pay for Bong Go shirts distributed at a recent gathering of barangay officials.
"Tulad ni Alejano, nagsisinungaling. Wala naman siyang proof to say na galing sa public funds ang t-shirts (Like Alejano, he's lying. He doesn't have proof to say the t-shirts came from public funds)," she said.
Alejano sent media documents from the Department of the Interior and Local Government showing it authorized local governments to use their funds for the registration fee for the 1st National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas. The P19,000 fee covered the event kit, which included t-shirts with Go's caricature and name.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año later on said Alejano was spreading "fake news" since the shirts were supposedly paid for by Bayan for Bong Go, a "private organization of individuals who are supportive" of Go's candidacy.
Go denied knowing anything about the shirts.
Mayor Duterte, however, had said that it's possible Go was "allowed" to put his shirts inside the event kit and that the former presidential aide should be able to show a paper trail proving no public funds were used for the shirts. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.