VERA FILES FACT CHECK: NO ‘license’ of Comelec spox being removed


A video falsely claimed President Rodrigo Duterte and Solicitor General Jose Calida want a “license” of Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez revoked after the polling commission inked a fact-checking partnership with news website Rappler.

YouTube channel IDØL CÀLØY published the untrue video on March 4 with the clickbait headline: “JAMES JIMENEZ TATANGGALAN NG LISENSYA NI PRRD AT SOLGEN CALIDA DAHIL SA ELlGAL (sic) NA UGNAYAN SA RAPPLER.”

(Translation: James Jimenez will be stripped of license by PRRD and SolGen Calida due to illegal agreement with Rappler)

Neither Duterte nor Calida ever made a pronouncement to take away any license of Jimenez’s.

The YouTube video did not even identify the supposed license for revocation. The claim made in the clip’s headline was also not mentioned in its content, which only featured a vlogger reading and agreeing with an opinion piece by Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, who called the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Comelec and Rappler “atrocious and illegal.”

The video surfaced a week after Comelec and Rappler formalized a partnership on Feb. 24 to counter disinformation and promote voters’ education in the run-up to the May 9 elections.

This week, the Office of the Solicitor General said it filed a petition before the Supreme Court to rescind the MOA.

A similar claim that targeted Jimenez’s position surfaced when Comelec commissioners were about to rule on a set of petitions filed against the presidential bid of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video peddles FALSE claims Glenn Chong to replace Comelec’s Guanzon, Jimenez ‘fired’)

The erroneous YouTube video has since been viewed more than 136,000 times and has garnered more than 940 Facebook interactions, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. Two other accounts – FB pages Duterte News. (created on Jan. 9, 2021) and Balitang Balita TV (Oct. 17, 2017), – also uploaded the video.

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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.)