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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Columnist Tiglao falsely claims Palimbang massacre is ‘fake’

Columnist Rigoberto “Bobi” Tiglao of The Manila Times falsely claimed that the Palimbang massacre was “fake” and “invented” to get compensation from the Philippines’ Human Rights Violations Reparations Law.

STATEMENT

In a Facebook comment on a post of the Philippine Collegian, the University of the Philippines – Diliman’s official student publication, Tiglao said:

“The Palembang massacre was fake, no such massacre. Invented to get compensation from ‘Human Rights Victims compensation act’.”

Source: Bobi Tiglao Official Facebook Profile (comment), “The Palembang…” (archive),  May 4, 2022

Tiglao then went on to link an opinion piece he wrote in 2019, alleging without basis that the massacre was a “hoax.”

FACT

At least three government agencies recognize the Palimbang massacre, which took the lives of over 1,000 Moros in Sultan Kudarat on Sept. 24, 1974. Testimonies from survivors of the massacre, and bereaved families, are well-documented by the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). In 2021, the military, whose forces were linked to the massacre, released a statement on how important it is to commemorate the killings.


The TJRC is an independent body that the government mandated to conduct studies and propose mechanisms that promote and enhance the rights of the Bangsamoro people.

It includes forwarding solutions that correct historical injustices and address human rights violations, such as those committed under the martial rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. (Read VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Palimbang massacre and Marcos’ other transgressions against the Bangsamoro)

In 2014, or 40 years after the gruesome massacre transpired, the Commission on Human Rights, under the leadership of then-chairperson Loretta Ann “Etta” Rosales, formally recognized the martial law atrocity. In doing so, the Human Rights Violations Claims Board awarded 33 Palimbang massacre claims.

Since then, the CHR has declared September 24 as commemoration day for the Palimbang massacre.

 

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Sources

Bobi Tiglao Official Facebook Profile (comment), “The Palembang…” (archive) May 4, 2022

Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission, Listening Process Report 2017, Accessed May 5, 2022

Bangsamoro Ministry of Social Services and Development, MSSD JOINS 47TH COMMEMORATION OF PALIMBANG MASSACRE, DISTRIBUTES RELIEF ASSISTANCE TO SURVIVORS, Sept. 24, 2021

MindaNews, 1,500 Moro massacre victims during Martial Law honored, Sept. 26, 2014

Commission on Human Rights, Recognition of the Palimbang-Tacbil Massacre…, Sept. 6, 2019

 

 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)