VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizens revive FALSE ‘Inday Sara’ statement vs LGUs on COVID-19 response

At least six Facebook (FB) accounts recycled a three-month-old post claiming Davao City mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte told Filipinos to blame local government units (LGUs)—not her father, President Rodrigo Duterte—for the P200-billion COVID-19 assistance they have not received. Her “statement” also included lines in support of federalism.

This is false.

A search through Mayor Duterte’s personal social media accounts and that of her office showed no records of her making the pronouncement. It was neither reported by the media, nor quoted in official records.

Looking up the untrue post's copies via social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle reveals that its earliest publicly available version was uploaded in the evening of April 1.

It was not attributed to Duterte. Another early iteration of the post can be found here.

It was only on April 2 when netizens started crediting the statement to the presidential daughter. Its earliest traceable version was published in public group POLOMOLOK 2030.

The mayor herself has disowned the statement last April 3. In a post on the City Government of Davao’s official FB page, Duterte said the article “is not [hers] nor does it reflect [her] actual views about federalism and how the national government is responding to the COVID-19 health crisis.”

She also told the authors and sharers of the article—who she pointed out were “supporters” of both her father and federalism—to “be ashamed of themselves” for duping the public with “fake information apparently manufactured to peddle an agenda.”

The P200 billion mentioned in the erroneous posts refers to the cash allotment released by the government in late March to help 18 million low-income families affected by the pandemic, as stated in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The wrongly-attributed version of the post was most recently re-published on July 5, four days after reports surfaced about a P23.5-billion loan secured by the Philippines from Japan, which is to be added to the country’s budget for measures in response to the pandemic.

The recent revivals of the incorrectly attributed statement were made by FB pages Kitty Duterte, FACP, Duterte - Duterte Tandem 2022, Matang Aguila Publication News Online, Unite Pinas, Para sa Bayan, and a netizen in public group OPINYONG TUNAY.

Meanwhile, a similar post by page President Duterte Supporters - Cebu Chapter was also recently reshared by some netizens on FB. It was first published three months ago.

All eight posts already accumulated over 69,200 reactions, 14,600 comments, and 44,900 shares from social media users.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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