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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos did NOT issue arrest warrant vs Duterte

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the arrest of Rodrigo Duterte.

YouTube channel Boss Balita TV 2024-01-31 False

Marcos has not ordered Duterte’s arrest. The president, who is the head of the executive branch, has no power to issue arrest warrants which is generally a function of the judiciary.

Three YouTube videos are claiming that President Bongbong Marcos has ordered the arrest of his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte after the latter accused him of using illegal drugs. 

This is not true. Marcos made no such order to put Duterte in jail. 

First uploaded on Jan. 31, the video’s headline read:

“WARRANT OF ARREST! PBBM GINULAT DUTERTE! KULONG ANG HATUL! BUMALIKTAD PDEA! PINALAYAS KASAMA CHINA (PBMM surprised Duterte! Imprisonment is the verdict! PDEA flipped! Sent away along with China)!”

Marcos has not ordered Duterte’s arrest. The president, who is the head of the executive branch, has no power to issue arrest warrants which is generally a function of the judiciary.  

Currently, there are no ongoing complaints filed against Duterte in any local court since his term ended in 2022. ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro filed grave threat raps against the former president in October 2023 but this was dismissed by a Quezon City court last January. 

The Senate and the House of Representatives are also allowed to issue warrants of arrest when they are conducting inquiries in aid of legislation. Duterte has not been a subject of any congressional investigation recently. 

The video merely played several unrelated clips, including Duterte’s speech in a Jan. 28 Davao City rally where he alleged that Marcos’ name is in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) drug watch list, as well as a Jan. 29 interview of Marcos where he claimed that Duterte’s tirades was possibly triggered by his “excessive use of fentanyl”.

VERA Files Fact Check previously found that Duterte’s claim has no basis (READ: Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that President Marcos is on PDEA narco-list is baseless). 

Uploaded by previously fact-checked YouTube channels Boss Balita TV, BALITA NI JUAN and WANGBUDISS TV, the erroneous videos collectively garnered 84,101 interactions. Facebook users also reposted the links. 

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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.)