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Sara disowns federalism-COVID article

Hananeel Bordey

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Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte denied and slammed an article circulating online, claiming that she supports federalism and that it can be a tool to fight the current health crisis brought about by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, the presidential daughter disowned the “insulting” statement as it has been shared by President Rodrigo Duterte supporters even though the statement was not really from her.

“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,” the younger Duterte said. “How the article was presented as my commentary on federalism vis-a-vis the fight against COVID-19 was insulting.”

She slammed the author of the “horrible” article for “manipulating and fooling the public.”

Duterte also told those who were convinced of the fake statement and those who reposted the article to be “equally ashamed of themselves” for propagating fake information supposedly manufactured to “peddle an agenda.”

“The Duterte administration is facing a formidable enemy these days and President Rodrigo Duterte needs the support of the entire country to bring the enemy down, protect the public from infection, and prevent more deaths,” the Davao City Mayor said.

“Any form of misinformation, any attempt to fool the public, any move to use me or any other person to push an agenda is a painful counterproductive measure that would only worsen the situation as it would never help the Duterte government win over the deadly virus,” she added.

Sara appealed to her father’s supporters to be wary in dealing with information online.

She, however, asked them to continue to support her father and “stand strong with each other, and to continue to support your government.”

In the past few days, an article attributed to her blamed the local government units for the slow distribution of the P200 billion social amelioration for the poor.

The article further claimed that President Duterte wanted federalism to decentralize the government.

Last year, Sara reiterated her opposition to federalism as she said it will only give more power to warlords.

“Kung makikita nyo ang Mindanao is an area na merong mga ‘kingdoms,’ mga local politicians, local warlords. I do not think na tama ibigay ang mas malaking powers kapag ganoon ang set up ng isang lugar,” she said in a previous interview.

“Kasi baka mag-worsen ang situation ng mga lugar, especially sa mga lugar na hindi pa ready na tumanggap ng dagdag na responsibilities or dagdag na power ang mga local officials.”

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