Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said on Monday that she’s thinking of penning a letter to detained Senator Leila de Lima to urge the latter to draft a law on honesty.
The h-word is a hot button issue for Mayor Duterte since she gave a statement earlier where she said honesty need not be an issue for candidates. She later clarified her statement, saying that while public officials must maintain a standard of honesty and integrity in public service, as stated in the 1987 Constitution, candidates are not held to the same legal standard.
Mayor Sara, who works also as the campaign manager for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial slate, said that de Lima took her earlier statements completely out of context to twist them.
“Sabi ko, hindi ang opposition dapat ang magsasabi kung ano dapat ang isang kandidato at hindi isyu ang honesty dahil hindi yan requirement (I said, opposition candidates are the not the ones to tell who should run for office. Honesty is also not the issue, it’s not a requirement),” she said.
But to preach of honesty, de Lima must somehow be forgetting how she ended up in prison. The senator has been detained since February 2017 for her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)’s illegal drug trade. Over 30 witnesses testified to link de Lima to the NBP drug trades that happened during her term as head of the Department of Justice.
Still, de Lima continues to critique the current administration as she waits behind bars. Most recently, on March 24, she published a statement that attacked both Mayor Sara and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“Panelo and Sara represent what is wrong and how things could be worse for our government,” said her statement.
So in response, a fed-up Mayor Sara said this Monday that she’ll be writing a letter to de Lima to encourage her to just write a damn law about the issue. A letter was the chosen option since de Lima might not have access to television in prison.
“You are a senator — honesty about your involvement in the illegal drugs business is under scrutiny by the courts — how about make a law adding honesty as a requirement for all Filipinos before they can run for office,” she said.
“Maybe then you can save the government from yourself, Inday Sara, Leni, Digong, Panelo, Alejano, and all the de Limas of the universe,” said Mayor Sara.