VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB pages make FALSE connection between Drilon and neglected Mindanao sports complex

Online posts published by at least two Facebook (FB) pages claiming that the neglected Butuan Poly Sports Complex in Mindanao is a project of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon are false.

FB pages President Rodrigo Duterte ツ Ang Tunay Na Pagbabago and HAPPY TEETH uploaded on Nov. 26 an image of the facility’s abandoned football stadium, grabbed from a Nov. 21 photo set by the GMA Public Affairs FB page. The untrue posts bore the caption:

253 million Butuan Sport Complex ni DRILLON noon 2013.. Ginawang tambayan ng mga Baka at Kalabaw.. Hahaha ANG LUPET MO DRILON (Drilon’s 253 million Butuan Sports Complex in 2013 left as a grazing field for cows and carabaos… Hahaha YOU’RE BRUTAL DRILON...)!!!”

The P253-million Butuan Polysports Complex, built in 2013, is a project under the city’s former mayor Ferdinand “Jun” Amante. There are no news reports linking the senator to the sports facility.

Drilon is not among the respondents in a complaint filed in 2016 with the Ombudsman about the alleged irregularities involved in the construction of the sports complex. Those named were Amante, contractor Jesusito Legaspi of JD Legaspi Construction, which won the bid to build the facility, and several members of the city’s bids and awards committee.

Neither was the senator named in another complaint filed with the Ombudsman in 2018, which accused incumbent Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada and other local officials of abandoning the multi-million-peso facility.

According to the GMA Public Affairs documentary where the post’s photos came from, the sports complex is still being investigated by the Commission on Audit which is why the facility remains unusable.

The false posts were published a day after House Speaker and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano blamed Drilon for the supposed delay in the budget for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which he claimed led to the mishaps that occurred ahead of the official opening of the sports event last Nov 30.

The false posts could have reached over 5.8 million followers and has been reshared for 111 times, garnering over 46,000 interactions.

President Rodrigo Duterte ツ Ang Tunay Na Pagbabago was created on June 4, 2015 and HAPPY TEETH on January 6, 2019.

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