FAKE NEWS. The Office of the Vice President debunks claims that Vice President Sara Duterte is using a presidential chopper to go home in Davao City on a daily basis, in a Viber message on Wednesday (Sept. 14, 2022). The allegation circulated online after Duterte posted her birthday greetings to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, which included her message of gratitude for allowing her to use the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing. (Photo courtesy: OVP)

MANILA – The Office of the Vice President (OVP) refuted on Wednesday accusations and remarks circulating online about Vice President Sara Duterte’s alleged daily use of a presidential chopper in Davao City.

In a Viber message, OVP Spokesperson Reynold Munsayac debunked the matter, labeling it as fake news, following Duterte’s posted birthday greeting to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Fake news po yang araw-araw na gumagamit ng chopper para ihatid sa Davao kagaya ng inilalabas sa media. Manila based na po sa ngayon si VP Sara Duterte at ang family niya. Dito na din po nag-aaral ang mga anak niya (That’s fake news, the claim saying she’s using a chopper bound to Davao City on a daily basis. VP Sara Duterte now lives in Manila, with her family, even her kids are studying here),” he said.

The allegations surfaced online after Duterte thanked the chief executive for allowing her to fulfill both her official and maternal duties by lending her a 250th Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW).

“Thank you, PBB, and your 250th PAW (presidential airlift wing) for ensuring that wherever I may be found in the country during the day, I am home in time to tuck my children to bed. Thank you for putting a premium on the desire of a working mother to be present in her children’s lives,” she said earlier in her birthday greetings.

Moreover, Munsayac clarified that the said aircraft is only being used for official travels.

“Land vehicles din po ang ginagamit nila araw-araw. Ginagamit lang po ang chopper kapag kailangan sa official work and functions, based sa lugar na pupuntahan at (They are using land vehicles daily. The chopper is only used when needed for official work and functions, depending on the place and) urgency of schedule,” he added.

Munsayac also insisted that Duterte is keen to work efficiently, as well as “protective of government resources” at all times.

Budget deliberation

Vice President Duterte, meanwhile, expressed her gratitude to lawmkaers during the House budget deliberation for the OVP, which only took less than 15 minutes.

The proposed PHP2.92-billion budget for 2023 was thrice bigger than last year’s approved fund and is expected to be primarily allocated for good governance, including the provision of basic services.

Vice President Sara Z. Duterte joins the budget delibration for the OVP

“Thank you for your continued support of the budget and all the programs, activities, and projects of the Office of the Vice President,” she said.

She also urged lawmakers to coordinate with the OVP for possible program collaborations in various legislative districts.

“We continue to support as well the legislative districts of our honorable members of the house of representatives with all the meager projects of the Office of the Vice President…If there is anything that we can do to help you as an office in your respective mandates, in your respective legislative districts and party lists, please do let us know,” she added.

Currently, the OVP has programs like medical and burial assistance, the OVP Libreng Sakay, and the pagbaBAGo campaign.

Other projects to be launced include Peace 911 and MagNegosyo ‘Ta Day.

Munsayac, earlier, assured the public that the OVP will remain “transparent” in updating the public about their budget allocations and utilization, including that of its PHP500-million confidential fund. (PNA)