VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post claiming relationship between Hontiveros and Rep. Villarin FAKE NEWS

Pro-Duterte Youtube channel PRRD News uploaded May 29 a sensational fake news item that claims to "expose" a relationship between Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin and Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

Bearing the headline "RELASYON NI RISA HONTIVEROS AT AKBAYAN REP. TOM VILLARIN NABISTO! PANOORIN (Relationship of Risa Hontiveros and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin exposed! Watch)!," PRRD News selectively chose and blew out of proportion a quote from the CNN Philippines news report it copied.

The CNN report showed Villarin telling reporters that former Negros Oriental congressman and now Labor Undersecretary Jacinto "Jing" Paras, during a congressional hearing in March, went up to him and said, "Kayo pala ni Sen. Hontiveros ang magkasama (So you and Sen. Hontiveros are together)?" It was at this instance, Villarin said, that Paras stole his phone.

Hontiveros, partymate of Villarin, exposed in September 2017 a plot between then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and a certain “Cong Jing” to hasten a case buildup against her. She said it was possible the person Aguirre was communicating with through text messages was Paras.

The video, which had been edited by PRRD News and had slightly choppy audio, also bore in its thumbnail the false title "IPHONE X NI REP. TOM VILLARIN, SI RISA HONTIVEROS ANG LAMAN - RELASYON NG DALAWA, NABULGAR (Rep. Tom Villarin's iPhone X has Risa Hontiveros in it - Relationship between the two, exposed)!"

The fake news report was published the day Villarin filed theft charges against Paras, and could have reached more than 237,000 people after being syndicated by website trendingph.altervista.org.

The story's biggest traffic generators are We Support Duterte Administration and Team Duterte for Federalism. PRRD News was created in January 2015.


(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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