Tale of ‘SUV gift’ to Duterte riles Sara

IT’S better late than never.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte denied the old story published in 2016 about her alleged “tantrum” over the Ford Expedition given to her father President Rodrigo Duterte by religious leader Apollo Quiboloy.

In a statement, Mayor Sara said “the incident never happened.”

It was only yesterday that the presidential daughter was informed about President Duterte’s statement that “Inday went crazy” because she wanted the Expedition.

Apparently someone sent the link of the story to Mayor Sara, the founder and chairperson of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

“ I categorically deny the 2016 Rappler story quoting President Rodrigo Duterte as saying that I ‘went crazy’ because I wanted the car supposedly given to him by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy,” she said.

“This incident never happened. I never saw an Expedition vehicle allegedly given by Pastor Quiboloy. PRRD may have referred to another person with Inday as a name or he incorrectly remembered events,” she added.

According to the Mayor, perhaps, the story told by President Duterte when he was still Mayor of Davao in May 2016, was just another one of his jokes, which he usually peddles to the media.

 In 2016, while being interviewed by Quiboloy, then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte recounted how he tried to return the gift-SUV to the pastor.

“Binigyan ako ng Expedition, pagpunta ako ng airport P300, hindi na makabalik. Sabi ko, ‘Iyo na iyan.’ Binalik ko. Tapos, itong si Inday nagwala kasi gusto niya. Sabi ko, ‘Saan ka ba kukuha ng pang-gasolina? Para kang buang diyan,’” the President said.

In the same interview, the elder Duterte also admitted to receiving properties as gifts from Quiboloy.

But Mayor Sara or Inday Sara as she is fondly called lamented that the story went unchecked and was taken by the media hook, line, and sinker.

“It was reported as truth.  

“The story was clearly a journalistic mishap and it was unfair and injurious to me as someone named in the article, something which would have been avoided had the writer conducted a simple process of verification,” she stressed.

Reports said that Mayor Sara is being groomed to be the next president. Nine of the senatorial candidates she supported and campaigned for in the 2019 mid-term elections won.