​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bato Dela Rosa 'sex tape' a HOAX

Another spoof is making rounds on the web this week.

A story pretending to reveal a sex scandal between former Philippine National Police and now Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa and his "mistress" was published by website vira1.gasatentayukuma.com.

Bearing the headline "PNP Chief Dela Rosa naikalat ang maselan nilang vidyo kasama ang KABIT niya sa isang MOTEL (PNP Chief Dela Rosa's scandalous video with his mistress at a motel leaked).," the undated story carried a video in which, after about two seconds, a Facebook "security check" pops out.

When opened on Youtube, the clip is actually a six-minute September 2009 video uploaded by the channel Dhen1221, bearing the title "Manila Grand Hotel SCANDAL," which appears to show a sleeping man being made fun of by his companions in a dimly lit room.

The dubious "security check" is similar to the prompt that appears in several death hoax stories published in May, whose websites Vera Files found to be sharing advertisement networks, suggesting the possibility that they may all be under a single publisher. (SEE: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: The scheme behind scams: Why death hoaxes don’t die)

As it turns out, vira1.gasatentayukuma.com, which was created on March 30, shares the same Google Adsense code (ca-pub-4056248652527790) as three of the websites that published the death hoaxes on actors Baron Geisler, Shaina Magdayao and Eddie Garcia in May. An Adsense code is a unique ID given to one publisher, which allows the placement of ads on web pages.

Much like the death hoax stories, the Bato Dela Rosa sex tape hoax also has at least 20 ads placed on the page, covering a larger space than its content. Flemish application developer and fake news expert Maarten Schenck had told Vera Files this clearly shows how money is a "big driver" for this type of stories.

(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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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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