Mayor Sara Z. Duterte slammed veteran-journalist Ramon Tulfo over an opinion piece published in the Philippine STAR on Tuesday which she claimed “peddled wild conjectures, lies, intrigues, and chismis (hearsay).”
“The article betrayed how The Philippine STAR values its credibility and integrity as one of the country’s leading sources of news and information,” Duterte said in a statement Wednesday, referring to Tulfo’s piece titled “Plan C.”
She said out of the more than 20 paragraphs that appeared in Tufo’s column, seven were devoted to pure “chismis” about her, her father President Rodrigo Duterte, and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go.
Mayor Sara slammed as hearsay Tulfo’s claim that his “little birdies in Cebu” reportedly said she might run as presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s party-mate to upset Senator Go, who’s running for the vice presidency.
Tulfo also claimed that Mayor Sara wanted to unsettle her father several times and expressed her abhorrence over Go’s close bond with her father.
“Plan C was stitched by someone that no self-respecting individual – much more a member of the media – should find inspiration from,” she said.
Another lie in the column, according to Sara, was that she allegedly implied that even after getting elected senator, Bong Go continued to be “servile” to her father and that there was nothing wrong with that.
Tulfo also claimed Mayor Sara implied that she and her siblings cannot go directly to the President without passing through Go.
Tulfo wrote that everybody knows there is still bad blood between the President and Sara stemming from her parents’ separation. Tulfo claimed Sara sides with her mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, a Filipino-German who’s a former Philippine Airlines flight attendant.
“The rest of the article was either unimportant, given, or another load of hogwash and untruths that we’ve all heard before,” Sara said.
She added: “Mr. Tulfo’s article should be found not in any of the main pages of The Philippine STAR – unless The Philippine STAR is a rumor-monger publication or a tabloid that serves people like Mr. Tulfo.”
The mayor also questioned the vetting process of the newspaper before publishing articles.
“Lastly, as the object of Mr. Tulfo’s journalistic irresponsibility, courtesy of The Philippine STAR, I deserve an apology – however, I am not expecting,” she said.