VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Facebook post linking LP to P300M worth of smuggled rice has NO BASIS

A Facebook post that went viral after insinuating that the Liberal Party is behind the P300-million worth of smuggled rice seized in seven Bulacan warehouses lacks basis.

A reader asked VERA Files Fact Check to look into a netizen’s Sept. 13 post, which contained a screenshot of a report bearing the headline, “P300-Million Worth of Smuggled Rice Seized in 7 Warehouses Located in Bulacan.”

The post’s caption read:

“Baka hindi lng iyan sa bulacan bka nasa ibang lugar pa?” Grabe tlga Gagawin ang lahat masira lng c PRRD hindi na cla tinatablan ng Hiya! LP Nakakahiya! Pwe (Perhaps it’s not just in Bulacan but in other areas, too? This is unbelievable; they would do everything to ruin President Rodrigo Duterte. They have no shame! LP is shameless) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Reports from legitimate news sources confirm that the Bureau of Customs had indeed seized an estimated 125,000 sacks of smuggled rice valued at P300 million in seven warehouses in Marilao, Bulacan on Sept. 12, a day before the netizen’s post.

However, the reports, including that of which cites the Philippine News Agency as its source, had no mention of the LP’s involvement in the illegal activity.

The issue of rice smuggling made headlines earlier this month after the price of rice spiked in various parts of the country amid reports of a shortage, prompting government to allow additional imports of the commodity.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol have insisted there is no rice shortage and blamed the tight supply on hoarders.

The post has gained more than 2,200 likes and 10,000 shares on Facebook.

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