VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Harry Roque has NOT replaced Remulla as justice secretary

A video on Facebook (FB) falsely claimed that President Ferdinand Marcos appointed former spokesperson Harry Roque to replace Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

There is no such announcement. Also, suspended Bureau of Corrections Chief Gen. Gerald Bantag has not been reinstated, contrary to the video’s claim. 

On Nov. 16, an FB page published the video with the untrue headline: “OMG! BAG0NG UT0S PRES MARCOS HARRY ROQUE lPALlT D0J REMULLA RESlGN GEN BANTAG BÂLlK BUC0R (New order of Marcos, Harry Roque to replace Remulla [who] resigned, Gen. [Gerald] Bantag has returned to BuCor [Bureau of Corrections]”

Some of the letters in the headline were changed to zeroes and accented characters, ostensibly a way to evade detection via keyword searching.

Throughout the 12-minute video, the narrator showed no evidence of its false claims but only featured opinions of netizens pushing for Roque as the new DOJ secretary.

Neither Malacanang nor the DOJ has issued a statement that Remulla has resigned and has been replaced by Roque.

Retired General Gregorio Catapang is still BuCor’s acting director general. Bantag remains suspended and is being investigated as the alleged mastermind behind the killing of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa.

VERA FILES has debunked a similar false claim. (Read: Sara Duterte DID NOT reinstate Bantag as BuCor chief)

The video appeared a day after the DOJ approved and served the subpoena ordering Bantag to attend the formal investigation proceedings on Mabasa’s death which will start next week.

FB page Bayan mo TV ph (created on Nov. 6, 2019) published the video, receiving over 16,000 reactions, 3,700 comments, 1,500 shares and 352,000 views. YouTube channel BANAT NEWS TV (Dec. 26, 2015) also published the same video and garnered over 125,000 views.

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