VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bong Go quote on ABS-CBN shutdown FAKE

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go is the subject of a fake quote card on ABS-CBN circulating on Twitter since May 9.

The image, an altered May 4 infographic by news organization One News, alleges that Go blames the media network itself for going off the air on May 5:

Wala dapat sisihin sa pagsasara ng ABS-CBN kung hindi mismo sila. Kung hindi sana nila sinaktan ang damdamin ng Presidente eh hindi na sana hahantong pa sa ganito (No one should be blamed for the shutdown of ABS-CBN but the station itself. If they didn’t hurt the President’s feelings, it wouldn’t have reached this point).”

A cursory search on Google shows no record of the former special aide to the president uttering that statement on May 4 or any other day. But Go did mention the president’s “hurt feelings” during the Feb. 24 Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise:

Hindi mababaw ang rason ng pangulo sa kanyang grievances against the network. Nasaktan ang presidente, nababoy ang presidente (The president’s grievances against the network are not superficial. The president was hurt. The president was disrespected).”

One News has also debunked Go’s fake quote in a May 9 tweet. The original infographic was Go’s statement on the new rate for members’ health insurance contribution to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), where he urged the agency to grant the needed payment extension amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Go released a statement on the May 5 Cease-and-Desist Order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against ABS-CBN. Referring to a bill seeking to renew the network’s franchise, the senator is “urging the House of Representatives to act on this matter with due haste.”

“Upon reaching the Senate and once we have had a chance to conduct our own hearings on the matter, that is when I will decide and vote according to my conscience and the interest of the Filipino people,” he said.

The fake quote card was made days after ABS-CBN was barred from operating past the expiration of its franchise on May 4.

The netizen’s tweet of the fabricated quote card reached 147 retweets, 763 likes and 150 comments.

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