PASIG CITY, September 12, 2018 – Honesty is a basic virtue that has long been at the core of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) mandate to protect and promote the right of every Filipino to quality basic education. It is a rudimentary value that we endeavor to inculcate in the minds of the youth during the formative years, especially in school. It is an adage that everyone is expected to observe and practice in youth and in old age.

It is in this regard that Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones cautions against posts, words, and actions that result from and promote dishonesty. Case in point is her quote on public service abridged to the point of lacking context and circulated on social media as a disparage to the Education chief’s intent to remind public servants of the challenges – and fulfillment – of serving the country.

Initially addressed to the members of the National Union of Career Executive Service Officers in July, the Secretary’s statement is as follows:

“Public service is not about power and getting rich. It is all about suffering – financially, physically, psychologically. It is all about attacks from all corners. But it is also joy – the joy of introducing reforms, the joy of touching people and the joy of teaching them new ways of thinking and of serving our people.”

However, the statement was reduced to “Public service is about suffering – financially, physically, and psychologically,” contracted to trivialize and serve purposes that lead to misunderstanding and disagreement, and posted online without due diligence to verify complete information. The fake meme was followed by a call for Secretary Briones to resign.

At a time when truth is behind the many lies that have made a head start on social media, the Secretary trusts that there are still discerning and judicious Filipinos who will not fall into the trap of disinformation, much less become instruments of spreading it.

At a time when the truth of action speaks softer than the barrage of lies, the Secretary puts her confidence in honest Filipinos who give truth a louder and clearer voice through thorough research, verification of information, and complete dissemination of facts.