VERA FILES FACT CHECK: NO official announcement of Sara-Bongbong tandem

Another false video is circulating on social media stating that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have officially joined hands to run as a tandem in the 2022 elections.

The erroneous 13-minute video, published by a YouTube channel notorious for publishing disinformation, said that because of the supposed announcement, other hopefuls for the presidency and vice presidency have withdrawn their candidacies—namely, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr. and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

This is untrue. Duterte-Carpio and Marcos have not announced their official bids for the upcoming polls. Meanwhile, Sotto and Lacson, who have announced plans to contest the top two elective posts in the country, have identified a few people for the team’s senatorial slate.

The filing of certificates of candidacies for the May 2022 polls is set for early October.

Posted on Aug. 21 by the channel BANAT NEWS TV, the untrue video bore the headline: “JUST IN – PDUTERTE CONFIRMED! MARCOS-MAYOR SARA OPISYAL NA! SOTTO LACSON PACMAN ISKO UMATRAS NATAK0T (Marcos-Mayor Sara is official! Sotto, Lacson, Pacman, Isko back out, scared).” A copy of the video was uploaded the same day by Facebook (FB) page PH Batang Maynila.

More, the content of the video did not support the claims made in its headline and thumbnail, which included:

  • three segments from an Aug. 21 episode of Bombo Network News, the morning news program of Bombo Radyo, about the delivery of Chinese-donated COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • a video about the results of an alleged Pulso ng Pilipino survey in which Duterte-Carpio and Marcos topped both the preference polls for president and vice president.

The Issues and Advocacy Center, the public relations group which conducts the Pulso ng Pilipino surveys, has denied that the results came from them.

In a Sept. 1 email to VERA Files Fact Check, Issues and Advocacy Center director Ed Malay said:

“This survey… is not ours. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous political operators who are working for certain candidates and are using our label … We are still wrapping up our survey that we conducted from Aug. 16-31, 2021.”

BANAT NEWS TV’s false video, which has received over 287,000 views as of publishing, surfaced the same day The Manila Times reported about an “independent” survey among 10,000 people where Duterte-Carpio emerged as the top choice for president.

This is not the first time the YouTube channel, created on Dec. 26, 2015, published disinformation propping up a Sara-Bongbong tandem. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: NO confirmation of Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem in 2022 polls)

PH Batang Maynila was created on Dec. 12, 2020. Its video received nearly 350,000 views and over a thousand shares.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)