VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Legarda NOT being replaced as senator

Two Facebook (FB) pages published videos erroneously suggesting that Sen. Loren Legarda has been removed from office, with either lawyer Larry Gadon or Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez to replace her.

One of the videos was an eight-minute clip uploaded on Sept. 3 with a title that read: “CONFIRMED! PAPALITAN NA (to be replaced)! ATTY. GADON IN ! LOREN OUT? ITO ANG SIGAW NG TAONG BAYAN! NAKAKA GIMBAL TO (This is the cry of the people! Shocking)!”

The next day, a 19-minute video was posted, bearing the headline: “FINALLY. PRES MARCOS SIBAK AGAD.LOREN LEGARDA PAPALITAN NA SA SENADO (President Marcos immediately fired Loren Legarda replaced in Senate) LUCY TORRES VP SARA ???”

These posts are misleading. None of the videos supported the claim made in its headlines.

It only showed some opinions of online netizens clamoring to dismiss Legarda as senator, as well as clips of a pro-Duterte vlogger and a former broadcaster reacting to Legarda’s statement on subscribing to leftist ideologies.

According to Article VI, Sec. 16 of the 1987 Constitution, only Congress has the power to “suspend or expel” a fellow legislator. A vote of two-thirds of the current roster of senators is required to remove Legarda from office.

There has been no such motion in the Upper House.

The two misleading videos appeared right after Legarda on Aug. 30, said there was nothing wrong with espousing leftist ideologies in reaction to Sen. Francis Tolentino’s proposal to require government workers to disclose relations with anyone linked to terrorist and criminal groups.

The misleading videos were published by the FB pages Philippine News TH (created on May 6, 2020) and Duterte Info News (Aug. 28, 2022), collectively garnering over 16,500 reactions, 4,500 comments, 4,600 shares and 304,000 views.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

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