VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Facebook post claiming Hontiveros defended Ateneo student in viral video FAKE NEWS

A day after a video of a high school student hitting a classmate went viral on social media, a netizen published on Dec. 21 a fabricated post claiming Sen. Risa Hontiveros defended the former's actions.

The Facebook post carried a quote card showing an image of Hontiveros juxtaposed with a photo of the Ateneo Junior High School (AJHS) student, and was superimposed with a statement purported to have come from the opposition senator:

"Wala pong pang bu-bully kung ginagamit lang naman ni … ang abilidad nya sa taekwondo! Di po ba pwede na pina-praktise lang ni … ang skills nya sa taekwondo (There was no bullying if … was only using his skills in taekwondo! Couldn't it be that … was just practicing his taekwondo skills)?"

There have been no news reports quoting Hontiveros as defending the student.

The Office of Sen. Hontiveros has also denied that the senator has said such a thing, telling VERA Files in a text message:

"Sen. Risa never said anything like that. She never had any interviews on the topic so wala siyang (so she doesn't have) any quote on the issue," it said.

The fake online post surfaced the same day a video circulated in social media of the teenager hitting and kicking a much taller schoolmate inside one of the school's comfort rooms.

The fake post has gotten mixed reactions from over 10,000 netizens, some finding the post funny while others expressing anger. The post has also been shared over 26,000 times, and has gotten over 6,000 comments.

The netizen who published the post has also published at least six other items on the matter.

(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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