Mayor Sara rejects Ma’s plea for quarantine pass

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 July) – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has refused to give in to the constant plea of her septuagenarian mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, to give her a food and medicine (FM) pass so she could do grocery shopping amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the city.

The Dutertes at the oath-taking of youngest son Sebastian, as Vice Mayor, on 21 June 2019. (L TO R), Sebastian (Vice Mayor), Elizabeth Zimmerman, President Rodrigo Duterte, Sara (Mayor) and Paolo (Representative, 1st District). Joey Dalumpines/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“My mom, she said: it’s already MGCQ, ‘Day, I still don’t have food and medicine pass. I cannot go to the grocery,” she said during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5).

The mayor said she prohibited her 72-year old mother, the ex-wife of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, from leaving their home because of the risk of contracting the contagious disease in public places.

“I am already faced with so many problems in our work, not only Covid-19. I have so many problems already. Do I have to stress myself over my mother who can get infected with the disease?” she said.

She said she did not give her mom an FM pass because the village chiefs are the only ones authorized to release passes, and there are several people in the household who could do the errands for Zimmerman.

“Of course, no. Let her stay there. Just lock her up,” she said.

Under the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, Duterte said those aged below 21 years old, 60 years old and above, or individuals with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women, will be required to stay indoors, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.

Although the city shifted from general community quarantine to modified general community quarantine from July 1 to 15, Duterte said the movement of people, except workers, is limited to buying essential goods and services and to non-contact sports and exercises.

“Why do we need to limit the number of people and the time they are allowed to leave their homes? That is because we want to minimize the possibility of transmitting the virus. We want to limit the opportunity of people gathering in one place to infect each other,” she said.

As of July 1, the Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 565 Covid-19 cases in the region: 435 in Davao City, 50 in Davao del Norte, 21 in Davao del Sur, 31 in Davao de Oro, 24 in Davao Oriental and four in Davao Occidental. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)