Sara Duterte wrongly claims honesty, good moral character not required of senators

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VERA Files
Last modified
Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 01:27
Sara Duterte speaking

Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is wrong in saying the law does not require senators to be honest and be of good moral character.


In a March 9 chance interview, Duterte-Carpio, campaign manager of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) was asked: “Generally ma’am, do you think that honesty is a requirement in public service?”

Her response:

Hindi naman ang iniisip ko ang importante eh. Ang importante is ano ‘yung required ng batas, ano ba sinabi ng batas for a senator, ‘able to read and write, natural-born citizen.’ Does it say na dapat good moral character yung tao? Does it say that the person has to be honest? Kaya sinabi ko kung honesty ang pagbasehan natin, disqualified lahat ng kandidato

(It’s not what I think that’s important. What’s important is what the law says, what the law requires for a senator, ‘able to read and write, natural-born citizen.’ Does it say the person should have good moral character? Does it say that the person has to be honest? That’s why I said if we base [the elections] on honesty, then all candidates should be disqualified).

Source:, MISLEADING: Sara Duterte claims law doesn’t require that senators be honest, March 10, 2019, watch from 0:01 to 0:31


Qualifications to be a candidate for Senator are distinct from the requirements prescribed by law for people who will hold public office.

Duterte-Carpio only referred to the qualifications to be a candidate for Senator, provided for by section 3, article 6 of the 1987 Constitution, enumerated as follows:

  • A natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
  • At least 35 years of age on the day of the election;
  • Able to read and write;
  • A registered voter; and
  • A resident of the Philippines for not less than two years a day before the election.

But good moral character, which includes a personal history of honesty, among other virtues, is a basic requirement for all public officials and employees. Those aspiring to be part of the bureaucracy are therefore expected to be of good moral character.

Read full story at VERA Files Fact Check. Rappler has also fact-checked Duterte-Carpio's claim. 




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