General Santos City declares singer Leah Navarro persona non-grata over Mindanao earthquake tweet

Singer Leah Navarro was declared persona non grata by the General Santos City Council after she tweeted that the earthquakes that recently hit the town and other parts of Mindanao were nature’s way of getting back at them for supporting President Rodrigo Duterte.

Navarro’s tweet appeared after former Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te asked on his Twitter account on Thursday,  “What’s with all the earthquakes in Mindanao?” Navarro replied by asking, “Retribution?”, angering netizens.

Navarro is a vocal critic of Duterte, the only Philippine president from Mindanao, where his hometown of Davao City is located. Three years into his term, he remains a divisive figure, in part because he remain unapologetic about his bloody drug war, which has killed thousands of Filipinos.

Te ended up deleting his question, and apologized for an unintended offense in another tweet on Saturday, describing the question as “rhetorical, non-political, and personal.”

“To family and friends from Mindanao, please be assured of my prayers for your safety,” Te added.

Read: Bad PR: Marketing agency boss apologizes for controversial Mindanao earthquake tweets

Navarro, too, apologized and removed her offending tweet on Monday, but also hit back at her critics by asking, “Why not help Mindanao instead? Stop wasting time on me, I’m not a victim.”

Read: ‘I told the earthquake, stop!’: Pastor Quiboloy says we have him to thank for Mindanao quake ending

For General Santos City, however, Navarro’s apology apparently wasn’t enough. The office of Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles told GMA News that the persona non grata declaration was “unanimously approved” by the city council. This means that Navarro will not be allowed to enter the city.

Navarro’s case is similar to that of another anti-Duterte personality, marketing professional Yolly Villanueva-Ong, who was lambasted online for tweeting that the pro-government leanings of Davao City’s citizens caused last month’s Mindanao earthquakes. She has since apologized for her comments.

Mindanao has been greatly affected by a series of strong earthquakes that struck late last month, displacing nearly 30,000 people.

The situation in Cotabato, one of the affected areas, is such that victims have been seen on the roadside begging for food and medicine.



This article, General Santos City declares singer Leah Navarro persona non-grata over Mindanao earthquake tweet, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!