VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Hontiveros ‘quote’ on seat belts for motorcyclists is FAKE

A reader asked VERA Files Fact Check to look into a quote card making the rounds on social media which shows Sen. Risa Hontiveros advocating for “seat belts for motorcycle drivers.” It’s fake.

The opposition lawmaker said no such thing. The fabricated social media graphic used a photo of Hontiveros from her official FB page, overlaid with text carrying the above mentioned remark.

It originated from an Oct. 21 post by the Facebook (FB) page Abente, a spoof of the tabloid Abante. The social media account describes itself as a “Just for fun” page that posts “news that is not true at all and just a product of an itchy mind.”

It forewarns its readers: “Wag seryosohin, good vibes lang (Don’t take this seriously, this is just good vibes).”

However, the fake graphic has been reuploaded by several other FB accounts with no indication that it was meant to be a joke. The reposts have collectively drawn over 69,000 interactions, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, with people in the comments sections taking the spoof to be true.

In Abente’s post alone, which has over 13,500 engagements, a top comment showed a person saying Hontiveros should not be re-elected for making this remark.

Among the other accounts that reuploaded the made-up quote card were motorcycle-interest pages Motorsiklo ni Paps which was created in August 2018 and Takbong Kamote which joined FB in July 2019, and JanzTV, created in April 2020.

The fake post surfaced a day after Hontiveros issued a statement urging the Department of Transportation to cover more public transportation drivers in its service contracting program amid rising fuel prices.

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

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