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Sara denies coveting SUV gifted to President Duterte

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday denied her father's, President Rodrigo Duterte, claim that she wanted to keep an SUV that was given to her father by religious leader Apollo Quiboloy.

“I categorically deny the story quoting President Rodrigo Duterte as saying that I went crazy because I wanted the car supposedly given to him by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. This incident never happened,” Sara said in a statement.

“I never saw [a Ford Expedition] allegedly given by Pastor Quiboloy. The president may have referred to another person with Inday as a name, or he incorrectly remembered events.”

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 elder Duterte had said.

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

In her statement, Sara Duterte said that her father's claims should have been verified before being published.

“The problem was it went unchecked and was taken by the media hook, line, and sinker. It was reported as truth. The story was clearly a journalistic mishap,” argued the president's daughter.

“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.”

A week ago, Quiboloy again interviewed the president, who warned his daughter against running for President in 2022 as this would only make her miserable.

Sara, while a local chief executive, played a key role in national politics. During the three month campaign period for the May polls, she served as the campaign manager for the administration coalition Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

Sara was often introduced as the next president by her allies during the campaign period. But she had repeatedly said that she only served as the ticket's campaign manager to help elect candidates who would support and work on her father's policies. — DVM, GMA News