Sara Duterte blasts posts using her name to spread disinformation

April 3, 2020 - 7:59 PM
Sara Duterte in campaign caravan
Sara Duterte, Davao City Mayor and daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, delivers a speech during a senatorial campaign caravan for Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP) in Davao City, southern Philippines on May 9, 2019. HNP is a regional political party chaired by Sara Duterte. Picture taken May 9, 2019. (Reuters/Lean Daval Jr)

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also the eldest daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, decried the use of her name to spread false information online.

On Friday, the 41-year-old city chief disowned a social media post bearing her name that supposedly contains her views on federalism. The article also claimed she is blaming the local government units amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is to inform the public that the article ‘Mayor Inday Sarah Duterte’s point of view’ is not mine nor does it reflect my actual views about federalism and how the national government is responding to the COVID-19 health crisis,” she said in a statement.

“Everything about the said article was never mine — from the misspelled ‘Sarah’ to the glaring grammatical errors to the ridiculous syntax or to the whole idea of federalism. How the article was presented as my commentary on federalism vis-a-vis the fight against COVID-19 was insulting,” Duterte-Carpio added.

The mayor likewise denounced those who shared the post on their respective social media accounts for becoming “propagators of fake information apparently manufactured to peddle an agenda.”

A separate Facebook post also went viral on Friday. This featured her supposed opinion on the government’s P200-billion worth of funds allocated to assist low-income households affected by the quarantine period.

The post claimed that a centralized government system was hampering the flow of relief for the affected sectors and added that a federal type of government would supposedly prevent it.

It also included a false analogy that used the leadership of a “CEO of H&M” as an example.

This analogy eventually reached Twitter where critics called it out and said that the “CEO of H&M” is “not a public official” who could be held accountable for a P200-billion worth of taxes to be used for assistance.

Online users observed that this analogy was also used by several users suspected to be online trolls. They are allegedly using it to defend the president against his critics.

The keywords “CEO of H&M” also made it on local Twitter’s top trending list on Friday morning.

Just recently, Duterte-Carpio also denounced another viral post that was attributed to her that featured her supposed voice recording.

Reports noted that it was created to make it appear that Duterte-Carpio was “sending a secret message to friends warning them not to go out of their homes because many people had been infected during a cockfighting derby held in the city earlier this month.”

The recording also deceived the public by making it sound as if Duterte-Carpio “was feeling helpless and on the verge of panic.”

The city chief, in response, disowned the voice recording and said that it was “a product of a deeply sick mind.”

“It’s beyond my understanding why would someone wish for more confusion, fear, and harm among our people who are now being tormented by the horrors brought by the deadly coronavirus to their daily lives — especially the poor,” Duterte-Carpio was quoted as saying.

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, it is prohibited to spread news or posts with false information about the pandemic, as well as use the situation to scam or phish people online.

Violators can be punished with a two-month jail sentence or be penalized with an amount of not less than P10,000. Courts can also impose a fine of up to P1 million.