​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Elago DID NOT say youth has no future in Duterte

A netizen who occasionally shares Facebook (FB) posts critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration published in public FB group SEN TRILLANES POWER a fake quote card of Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago saying the youth has ‘no future’ in Duterte.

Captioned “agree?”, the Oct. 22 post featured a photo of Elago originally published May 2016 in her personal FB account. Beside her face is the text:

“WALANG KINABUKASAN ANG KABATAAN KAY DUTERTE -- ELAGO (The youth has no future in Duterte -- Elago)

The fake quote appears to have been copied then paraphrased from the headline of Abante.com’s June 2018 video feature on Elago during the Kabataan Partylist’s #HINDIPENDENCEDay (Not independence Day) protest rally held last year for the 120th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence.

The headline of Abante.com, the online portal of the tabloid newspaper, was:

Elago: Walang kinabukasan ang mga kabataan sa polisiya ni Duterte (Elago -- the youth has no future in Duterte’s policies)

Abante.com published an 84-second footage of Elago speaking during the rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Manila. The clip appears to have come from the five-minute video uploaded by Kabataan Partylist on their Facebook page. In the complete video, Elago criticized the administration’s policies including the bloody war on drugs, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law and the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

In the Abante.com feature, the partylist representative can be heard saying that the Filipino youth has “no bright future” because of “reforms” like the K to 12 Education program. She did not mention Duterte in the said clip.

Ang mga kabataan, sa ngayon ay walang magandang kinabukasan dahil sa pagpapatuloy ng pagpapatupad ng mga reporma na katulad ng K to 12 na sinalaksak sa lalamunan ng ating mga kabataan, ng mga guro, ng sektor ng edukasyon, upang mag-ambag sa pagpapalaki ng reserba ng lakas paggawa na nagpapatuloy sa pambabarat ng sahod ng ating mga manggagawa.”

Source: Abante, Elago: Walang kinabukasan ang mga kabataan sa polisiya ni Duterte, June 12, 2018, watch from 0:03 to 0:36.

The K to 12 Program, formally known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, was signed into law by former President Benigno Aquino III. It requires one year of kindergarten education and twelve years of basic education for students: six years of elementary school, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school education.

The Kabataan Partylist has been calling for a review of the K-12 program since Duterte won the presidency in 2016. During the 17th Congress, Elago filed a House Resolution (HR) calling for “the immediate review and removal of the K to 12 program” because it “has only experimented, profited, created a heavy burden, and provided false promises to the youth.” The resolution was refiled as HR No. 106 in the 18th Congress and is currently pending with the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives.

The fake quote card was posted three weeks after a joint Senate committee filed a report recommending the conduct of a probe on leftist organizations allegedly recruiting minors into joining the armed movement. Elago was named in the report as a “recruiter,” alongside other members of left-leaning groups. They were recommended to be investigated, and “when there is sufficient evidence,” be charged with violation of a number of laws.

The FB post got a thousand reactions and was shared more than a hundred times. FB Group “SEN TRILLANES POWER,” which accommodates posts condemning the government, was created on March 11, 2017.

(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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About Vera Files

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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