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De Lima warns voters vs candidates peddling lies



Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged the Filipino electorate to be more vigilant against administration senatorial candidates who bank on lies and disinformation to improve their chances of getting elected in the upcoming May 13 elections.

De Lima, a known election lawyer, said voters should take time to probe the public records of candidates, especially those from the administration slate, and validate the authenticity of their claims to not easily be fooled into believing their lies.

"A candidate who attains victory by lying will govern by lying, so we should consider it as a red flag that the administration senatorial candidates are using lies and disinformation as a key tactic to deceive the Filipino voters," she said.

Among the senatorial candidates whom De Lima warned the voters against include former senator Jinggoy Estrada, presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, former congresswoman Imee Marcos, and former special presidential assistant Bong Go.

"These candidates have repeatedly shunned any organized debate between them and candidates from the opposition slate 'Otso Diretso' because they are afraid to be exposed of their own lies," the former justice secretary said.

"It is our democratic rights to reveal their true intention before we entrust them with our future. If this isn't enough to make us doubt their intentions in running for senators, I don't know what will," she added.

Aside from being liars, the lady Senator from Bicol noted that both Estrada and Tolentino are alike in such a way that they both love to play the victim card to earn people's sympathy and trust.

"In a shameless attempt to sway the Filipino public to vote for him, Estrada's campaign speeches highlighted his fake innocence over plunder charges. His nerve to falsely consider himself as a mere victim of political climate is preposterous," she said.

"Tolentino is no different either because he continues to preach that he supposedly deserves the 12th senatorial spot in the 2016 national elections even though there was NO sufficient evidence that he was cheated on. Truth is, Tolentino is just a cry baby who cannot accept defeat," she added.

The Ombudsman already confirmed that there is enough evidence to prove Estrada's guilt on charges of plunder for purportedly putting his congressional development fund amounting to PhP183.79 million to bogus foundations linked with businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

Tolentino, on his part, repeatedly alleged that fraud was the cause of his electoral defeat to De Lima in the 2016 elections, despite the lack of evidence to support such claim, and not to mention the fact that he lost to the former just secretary with a whopping margin of more than 1.3 million votes.

"Why withdraw his election protest if he claims to be the real winner?," De Lima said. She then challenges Tolentino to join her Motion filed with the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) asking for the release of the results of revision and appreciation of ballots in the 25 percent pilot precincts. "Para magkaalaman na!," De Lima quipped.

Marcos did not escape the eyes of De Lima who asked in rhetoric, "How come that Marcos is the only one who is not aware that she DID NOT finish her degree from Princeton University? She's being pathetic."

Marcos insisted she earned a degree from Princeton University despite a reported confirmation from Princeton deputy university spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss that, "our records do not show that Ms Marcos was awarded a degree."

De Lima urged voters to also look out for Go whom she called a "big liar," saying how "Go chooses not to admit that he took undue advantage of government funds to help fund his senatorial campaign. Sinong niloko niya? Style niya, bulok!"

She said Estrada, Tolentino, Marcos and Go who are all running under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago slate are just among the candidates who are obviously willing to cheat their way to victory by sowing mistruth and deceiving people with their "fabricated stories."

"Marami pa sila na mga kampon ni Duterte na pare-parehong sinungaling. As the election day nears, we should be wiser in choosing our candidates, lest we want to face disaster in the next three to six years of their reign," she concluded.

www.senate.gov.ph