VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Mar Roxas DID NOT tell Filipinos to 'unite against Duterte'

An Aug. 22 story by website claiming former Interior secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas called on the public to unite against President Rodrigo Duterte is fake news.

The report bore the headline, "WATCH! Mar Roxas may mensahe sa Publiko Kailangan daw tayo magkaisa para labanan ang Pangulo (Watch! Mar Roxas has a message to the public We need to unite to fight the President)," and carried a 27-minute clip uploaded Aug. 21 by the pro-Duterte Youtube channel Voice of Citizen. In the first three minutes of the video, Roxas was shown in an ambush interview with the media.

Roxas, who lost to Duterte in the 2016 presidential race, said no such thing in the clip, and was only answering questions about his plans for the 2019 elections. He gave no definite answer and instead said:

"Iyong pagtakbo... sa totoo lang marami naman ang nag-eencourage at marami rin nagtatanong. Lahat naman tayo maaring magsilbi at tumulong sa iba't ibang kapasidad sa pribado man o sa publiko. Ang importante, lahat ng Pilipino united. 120 million tayo eh. So sa kanya-kanyang kapasidad ay magtulung-tulong, malayo ang mararating natin."

(Running for a position... to be honest, many have been encouraging me to do so and many have been asking. We can all serve and help in different capacities in the private or public sector. What's important is that all Filipinos are united. We're 120 million people. In our own capacities, let's help each other; we'll go very far.)

A shorter version of the clip, containing this exact quote, was uploaded by published its fake story the same day Roxas attended mass commemorating former senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.'s 35th death anniversary -- footage of which was shown in the rest of the Voice of Citizen's video.

Social media traffic to the story largely came from Facebook pages Dugong Maharlika and Duterte News Media, and could have reached more than 374,000 people. was created May 4; Voice of Citizen in March 2017.

(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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