Mayor Sara censored for laughing and joking in her radio program

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 July) – Mayor Sara Duterte admitted she has been told to refrain from laughing and giving jokes while she is on-air in her regular program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5).

Mayor Sara Duterte. Photo from the DCDR 87.5 Facebook page

During her live interview at the city government-run radio station, Duterte addressed a radio listener, expressing concern for the mayor whose voice sounded tired as she went live around 1 p.m. on Monday.

“I hope Mayor Sara is doing well. She sounds very exhausted today,” a radio anchor read a comment from a listener.

Duterte responded by saying she is fine, except that she has been ordered by station management to refrain from laughing and joking while on-air.

“Ma’am, we’re prohibited from laughing. We have received censorship here in the radio station, Ma’am. We got feedback from our board of censors, prohibiting us from laughing and … from giving jokes,” she said

The mayor said station management had also directed them to read concerns and questions from listeners in full text so that other listeners “can understand what you are talking about.”

She said the censorship was the reason why she appeared to be in a more serious tone for the last three broadcasts.

Duterte’s regular program over DCDR 87.5 started March this year when the region reported its first case of COVID-19.

As of July 13, the Department of Health-Davao recorded 17 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 773 with 35 deaths and 457 recoveries. Of the total cases, 562 are in Davao City, 75 in Davao del Norte, 29 in Davao del Sur, 55 in Davao de Oro, 48 in Davao Oriental, and four in Davao Occidental.

The mayor currently holds thrice-weekly interviews – on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – to update her constituents about the COVID-19 situation in the city.

Her regular program is also streamed live via DCDR 87.5’s Facebook page.

Launched in February 2020, the radio station was intended to boost the city’s disaster information campaign. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)