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FACT CHECK: FAKE ‘graduation message from VP Sara’ circulates

The circulating graduation message came from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

Facebook page DepEd Tayo Quimloong Elementary School 2024-05-22 Fake

The Department of Education (DepEd) debunked the fabricated graduation message supposedly from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. DepEd’s regional offices have already published the vice president’s official message to elementary and secondary graduates this year.

A supposed graduation message from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio for public school students is circulating in several Facebook (FB) pages. This is fake.

The phony message was uploaded last May 20 and carried a graphic, which includes Sara’s official portrait and the logos of the Office of the Vice President (OVP), DepEd’s MATATAG agenda and the administration’s Bagong Pilipinas campaign.

The first two paragraphs of the fabricated text read:

“My dear graduates, as you stand on the cusp of this momentous occasion, I extend my warmest congratulations to each and every one of you. Today marks the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, and it is with great pride that I address you on this joyous occasion.

Your journey to this point has been filled with challenges, triumphs, and unforgettable memories. From the late-night study sessions to the friendships forged in the classroom, each experience has shaped you into the remarkable individuals you are today. As you prepare to embark on the next chapter of your lives, I encourage you to reflect on the lessons learned and the values instilled during your time in academia.”

This made-up graduation message, entirely in English, imitates the OVP and DepEd’s official branding to fool netizens. It emerged more than a week before the end of the current school year and days before the DepEd’s regional offices released Sara Duterte’s official graduation message.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK - THE FACTS: The Department of Education (DepEd) debunked the fabricated graduation message supposedly from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. DepEd’s regional offices have already published the vice president’s official messages to elementary and secondary graduates this year.

DepEd’s official FB page issued a May 23 advisory debunking the circulating message.

The department further warned the public against misinformation and reminded netizens to get updates only from their official social media pages and website.

In a May 27 email to VERA Files, DepEd’s Public Assistance Action Center confirmed that they have released the vice president’s official graduation messages for elementary and secondary graduates. The messages, written in a mix of Filipino, English and a local dialect, were disseminated by DepEd’s regional offices such as of Regions III and X.

VERA Files recently debunked a fake graphic claiming that the department is offering cash assistance for graduating students. (Read Posts on DepEd cash aid for graduating students FAKE)

The fabricated message circulated more than a week before the scheduled End-of-School-Year Rites for DepEd learners to be held from May 29 to 31.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has also approved reverting the country’s school calendar to its original schedule. The school year 2024-2025 begins on July 29 and ends April 15 next year.

The fake graduation message was shared on FB by several pages such as that of DepEd schools. It was also shared on X (formerly Twitter).


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