​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizens MISLEAD with 4-year-old report on alleged Yolanda fund ‘corruption’

Several Facebook (FB) pages and groups have revived an outdated report about Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez butting heads over the national government’s Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation efforts, misleading viewers for its lack of context.

From Oct. 2 to 6, netizens re-shared on FB an ABS-CBN News report titled, “Lacson: Mahigit P6-B naibigay sa (Over P6-B given to) Tacloban.” It shows Lacson belying Romualdez’s claims that the national government was slow and uncooperative in disbursing funds for the rehabilitation of infrastructure and communities ravaged by the super typhoon (international name: Haiyan).

A netizen shared the video in FB groups SEN TRILLANES POWER and OFW VOICES of DISSENTS Against Government’s Inhumane, Treasonous Policies with the caption, “Puro corruption kaliwat-kanan kay Tatay (There is corruption left and right under Father),” refering to President Rodrigo Duterte. The rest of the re-posts were not captioned.

The report is over four years old.

Uploaded on the ABS-CBN News YouTube channel on Nov. 10, 2014, the news package was produced a year after Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in the Philippines in 2013, during the administration of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Lacson was then chair of the now-defunct Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery.

The misleading post surfaced about a week after Romualdez’s cousin, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, denied Lacson’s allegations the Lower House was allotting over P1.5 billion as pork barrel funds in its proposed 2020 budget.

Since their publication, the misleading FB posts may have reached over 68,000 netizens.

The posts which got the most number of traffic came from FB pages No To Marcos Burial At Libingan NG MGA Bayani, created on June 23, 2013; Demonyo ANG MGA Markoses, created on Aug. 11, 2013; Cruelty of Juan Ponce Enrile, created on Dec. 5, 2013; Katotohanan Kalayaan Katarungan, created on Dec. 2, 2016; and FB groups Atty. FLORIN “Pilo” HILBAY (South Volunteer), made in October 2018; OFW VOICES of DISSENTS Against Government’s Inhumane, Treasonous Policies made in February 2018; and SEN TRILLANES POWER, which was created in March 2017.