Claim: Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said that local government units (LGUs) should be blamed for why the P200-billion cash assistance has not reached constituents.
The claim was part of a longer text that was reposted several times on Facebook. It was tagged as Duterte's "point of view," or preceded by the note "Hindi na nakapigil si Mayor Inday Sara sa mga bumabatikos as kanyang ama na si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte (Mayor Inday Sara was not able to resist responding to those who criticize her father, President Rodrigo Duterte)."
"Why are you blaming Duterte for the slowness of the 200 billion fund? He released that! Blame your LGUs! This is what you get for having a centralized government. This is why Duterte wanted Federalism but you dumbasses think it's some sort of Martial Law," the text read.
Another segment of the text read, "You blame the President yet all he knows is that he released it. Imagine how many official heads that the money has to go through before it reaches your hand. A lot!"
"You ask why I blame the LGUs? Because look at other cities. When the head official does his job properly his people can feel that 200 billion," the text added.
The claim was flagged by Facebook Claim Check, a tool that detects posts with potentially false information.
The facts: The statement did not come from Sara Duterte nor did it reflect her views about federalism and the national government's response to the coronavirus crisis.
On Friday, April 3, the City Government of Davao Facebook account posted Sara's statement regarding the viral post, which declared the text was "never hers."
"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," the statement read.
Duterte said the article was shared and reposted by supporters of her father, and was "particularly popular" among those who are pushing for federalism. "How the article was presented as my commentary on federalism vis-a-vis the fight against COVID-19 was insulting," she said.
She also cited variations of the post and pointed out their errors, saying, "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 Davao City mayor slammed those who authored the article as well as those who shared it on their social media accounts, saying misinformation is counterproductive in the fight against the pandemic.
The President recently signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020, which allows the government to give 18 million low-income families P5,000 to P8,000 worth of emergency cash aid, depending on the prevailing minimum wage in the region.
As of Thursday, April 2, the Department of Budget and Management released P100 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development to fund the first month of social amelioration programs for the 18 million low-income families.
As of Friday, April 3, the number of coronavirus cases in the country spiked to 3,018, with 136 deaths and 52 recoveries. – Loreben Tuquero, with reports from Aika Rey/Rappler.com