VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte counts Catholic saints, revises his number twice

President Rodrigo Duterte has a penchant for citing unsupported figures and then revising them using, again, unsupported data.

He has done this repeatedly with the number of drug-affected Filipinos and law enforcers killed in anti-drug operations. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: How many drug addicts are there in the PH? Let Duterte do the counting and VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Real Numbers PH’ update contradicts Duterte’s claim)

Recently, without citing his source, Duterte revised anew his tally of saints recognized by the Catholic Church. Watch this video.


PCOO, President Rodrigo Duterte, Speech during the groundbreaking of Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar National High School, Jan. 10, 201

RTVM, President Rodrigo Duterte, Speech during the Go Negosyo: “Pilipinas Angat Lahat” launch, Aug. 14, 2018

PCOO, President Rodrigo Duterte, Speech during the distribution of certificates of land ownership award to agrarian reform beneficiaries, Dec. 29, 2018, Saints proclaimed by John Paul II, Saints proclaimed by Benedict XVI, Saints proclaimed by Pope Francis

Barro, R., McCleary, R. and McQuoid, A. (2010). Economics of Sainthood (a preliminary investigation), Harvard University, Retrieved Jan. 16, 2019, pp. 27-28

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Saints

The Guardian, How many saints are there?, May 13, 2013

The Washington Post, ‘Why the rush?’: Some ask whether Vatican should be more cautious in elevating popes to saints, Oct. 13, 2018

U.S. Catholic, How many saints are there?, November 2013

Encyclopedia Britannica, Roman Catholic Saints

(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.)


VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Plan to make Cory, PNoy saints a HOAX

It misrepresents information based on comments made 10 years ago.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Real Numbers PH’ update contradicts Duterte’s claim

Duterte said 1,000 policemen and soldiers died because of drugs.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Duterte make contradicting claims on drug war surrenderees

'Bato' says 1.3 million, Duterte 1.6 million.

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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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