VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Hontiveros NOT expelled from Senate


A YouTube video and a blog claimed that Sen. Risa Hontiveros was removed from the Senate following an order from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio. This is not true, but a clickbait to an unrelated video.

The video merely resurfaced a statement the senator made last year criticizing the reported whitewashing of martial law history in textbooks, followed by a vlogger’s commentary against Ninoy Aquino Day. 

Uploaded on Aug. 23, the video’s headline read: 

KAKAPASOK LANG Finish na! HONTlVEROS walang KAWALA sa UTOS VPSARA PBBM SENADO,DlLAWAN at MEDIA IYAK (Just in. It’s finished! Hontiveros cannot escape the order of [Vice President Sara Duterte and President Bongbong Marcos]. The Senate, yellows and the media cried).”

It also bore the thumbnail “SINUBOAN NG EBIDENSYA ITO ANG BANGUNGOT NI RISA (Fed with evidence, this is Risa’s nightmare),” along with a text beside Hontiveros’ photo saying: “Tanggal sa senado (Expelled from the Senate).” Beside this is an image of Duterte appearing to hold a document supposedly containing evidence against the senator. 

Neither the president nor the vice president can fire a member of the Senate. Article VI, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution states that only senators can expel a fellow member following a two-thirds vote. There is no such move against Hontiveros in the Senate

Reverse image search showed that Duterte’s picture was a Rappler file photo taken from a 2017 press conference when she was still mayor of Davao City. The vice president was not holding any document in the original photo. 

The video began with a narrator claiming that Hontiveros was agitated over Duterte’s alleged directives as education secretary to revise martial law history in textbooks.

While the senator did issue a statement condemning the rebranding of martial law to New Society in textbooks, this took place in October 2022. Duterte also denied the education department’s alleged rebranding.  

The rest of the video only played a clip of a previously fact-checked commentary by a vlogger against the observance of the death anniversary of former Sen. Ninoy Aquino as a public holiday. 

Uploaded by YouTube channels PINAS NEWS INSIDER and WANGBUDISS TV, the video currently has 77,200 views and 4,565 likes. Blog website GLOBAL BALITA PH also reposted the video’s headline and thumbnail, and was shared by FB users.


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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.)