Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has advised Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to stop campaigning for dishonest officials who were merely using her to gain public approval ahead of the upcoming national and local elections on May 13.
De Lima reminded the presidential daughter that most candidates stand by her not because they believe in her vision but simply because they are taking the opportunity to reap all the benefits they can get from siding with her.
“Unless you are one of them, don’t waste your life defending the dishonest, the corrupt, and the people whom you know will abuse their office. Your ambition should not take precedence over our country’s future,” she said in a reply to Duterte-Carpio’s “Honesty” letter.
“Use your platform to fight for a better Philippines. Do the right thing. Stop campaigning for trapos and misfits,” she added.
De Lima gave the unsolicited advice after Duterte-Carpio, the campaign manager of administration’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), sent her an Open Letter lashing out at the lady senator for disputing her earlier remark that honesty is not an election issue.
Duterte-Carpio even pressed De Lima to propose a law that would add honesty as a requirement for public office even as she took a swipe at the senator’s bogus illegal drug trading charges.
De Lima, however, refused to dignify Duterte’s tirades as she maintained that the illegal drug trading charges leveled against her are fabricated to silence her strong opposition against human rights violations committed under the war on drugs.
“Spare me with your rhetoric of my supposed involvement in drug trading. You and I know it’s not true. The fact that you peddle this lie shows that you, the person who absurdly argues that honesty is not important, are part of the dishonesty that is destroying our country,” she said.
The lady Senator from Bicol urged Duterte-Carpio to stop defending and making excuses for the lies and disinformation peddled by the candidates she is campaigning for.
“There is no need to play semantics with me. Your words may sway the weak-willed and the uninformed, but they don’t affect me. I’m neither weak-willed nor uninformed. Hindi uubra sa akin ang mga palusot mo,” she said.
“Public office is a public trust. Period. Full stop. Anyone who seeks public office must have honesty and integrity. Candidates included. What kind of idiot would think that a dishonest candidate will be an honest public official?” she asked.
The candidates that Duterte-Carpio is campaigning for include former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, former special presidential assistant Bong Go, former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, former congresswoman Imee Marcos, and presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.
While maintaining that she has nothing personal against Duterte-Carpio, De Lima took time to remind the former that the nationwide attention she currently enjoys “is not for you, it is for your father.”
“Politicians are stumbling over themselves trying to vie for your support. Even without a television set and radio, I can see from the newspapers and online news (as printed) that you seem to be celebrating the unprecedented amount of spotlight and attention that you are experiencing for the first time in your life,” she said.
“If I may give you an unsolicited advice, do not fool yourself. The spotlight and lavish attention is not for you, it is for your father,” she added. De Lima has lashed out at some administration senatorial candidates including Estrada, Go, Tolentino and Marcos, for peddling lies to win people’s heart and their votes in the upcoming elections.