VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB post on world’s biggest anti-SOGIE bill rally FALSE

A Sept. 5 Facebook (FB) post carrying a photo of what it claims to be the world’s biggest protest on the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill is not accurate.

In a “repost” of what is said to be an online post previously taken down by FB, a netizen published an image of a large gathering supposedly of the followers of a religious movement called G12, in “April 2018” at Luneta Park, Manila.

Its caption expressed strong sentiments against the proposed SOGIE Equality bill -- which seeks gender equality -- reading:

“ATTENTION This Post was Deleted iM reposting it! Will see if they will delete it again

#April2018Luneta

This is the BIGGEST ANTI SOGIEBILL RALLY in the World. We will do it Again. We will not be Silent. We Are Pamilyang Pinoy (Filipino Family)! We Are G12 Philippines. We Are Against Anything that will destroy our family!

#MagiingayKami (#WeWillMakeNoise) #TutolsaSogie (#AgainstSogie) #TaposNaAngPagigingTahimik (#OurSilenceIsOver) #MalapitNgUlitin (#WillSoonBeRepeated).”

The photo used was not from an anti-SOGIE Bill rally, and neither was it taken in April 2018.

The image is actually an April 8, 2017 photo published by the Grace Testament Church Twitter account, of G12 Philippines’ “Cell Miracle Catch” event that day at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.

G12 Philippines, according to its About page on Facebook, is the local arm of a religious organization established by a pastor in Colombia. Its Facebook post on the Cell Miracle Catch 2017, which they claim was attended by over 165,000 people, and the January 2018 issue of Vision, G12 Internacional’s official magazine, did not say anything about the gathering being an anti-SOGIE Bill rally, much less it being the biggest anti-SOGIE Bill rally in the world.

However, it was during the 2018 Cell Miracle Catch of G12 Philippines that the group explicitly expressed its anti-SOGIE Bill stance. Posting on April 21, 2018 an FB album of the Cell Miracle Catch event that day, part of G12 Philippines’ description of the album said:

“… The Miracle Catch also served as the G12 family's stand against the advancement of SOGIE bill and divorce bill in the country. Under the sovereign and absolute authority of God, we will never stop declaring, ‘The Philippines is for Jesus!’"

The organization is also one of the religious groups which held an anti-SOGIE Bill protest outside the Philippine Senate on March 7 last year.

The netizen’s FB post bearing false context made the rounds a day after the Senate held a public hearing on the SOGIE Equality bill. It has been screengrabbed and re-shared by other netizens, adding more reach to the original post which has gotten over 800 reactions, more than 80 comments and over 750 shares.

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