VERA FILES FACT CHECK: No media coverage on July 31 poll fraud hearing FAKE NEWS

A July 31 story posted on The Daily Sentry website falsely claimed news organizations did not report “important issues” from a Senate hearing the same day.

The fake report in ‘’ bore the headline: “Fearless lawyer reveals LP-COMELEC-SMARTMATIC fraud during the Senate hearing”.

It claimed:

“Many observers wonder why some of the most important issues that has been tackled and presented during the Senate investigation was not aired nor covered by known Media outlets in the country.”

At least four news organizations – UNTV, GMA News Online, Rappler and The Manila Times – covered the July 31 Senate hearing on poll fraud allegations in the 2016 national elections, rendering the claim untrue.

UNTV and GMA News Online reported how Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms chair Aquilino Pimentel III was “frustrated” by the Commission on Elections explanations.

Also untrue was the claim that there was “no live coverage” of the Senate hearing.

Rappler aired in full the Senate’s official three-hour live feed of the hearing, while ANC aired live footage for about 53 minutes.

A big chunk of the false story was a copy-pasted opinion-heavy Facebook post by former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong, the “fearless lawyer” referred to in the headline, who was a resource person in the Senate hearing.

Chong’s credibility was questioned by Sen. Franklin Drilon, after two letters showed he was a representative of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Marcos narrowly lost to Leni Robredo, and subsequently filed a poll protest.

The Daily Sentry’s false story could have reached over 2.4 million people, its biggest traffic generators being the Facebook page of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission spokesperson Greco Belgica, The Filipino News and News Wire PH.

The Daily Sentry was created January 10.

(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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