VERA FILES FACT CHECK: NO ‘order’ from Marcos to teach student activists ‘utang na loob’

A video wrongly claimed that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. gave a “terse order” to incoming Education secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio to teach activists among university students a lesson.

The erroneous clip published July 5 by a YouTube channel and an FB page bore the title, “SHOCKING! PRES MARCOS MATINDING UTOS kay VP SARA ITO na ang BANGUNG0T ng UP DILIMAN IYAK (Pres. Marcos’ terse order to VP Sara THIS is the nightmare of UP Diliman Cry)!”

In it, a male narrator talked about students allegedly from the University of the Philippines and other universities who held a protest during the president’s June 30 inauguration ceremony. 

He reported: “President Marcos, patututukan kay Vice President Sara Duterte Carpio ang edukasyon upang tumanaw ang mga ito ng utang na loob sa pamahalaan na nagpapaaral sa kanila.

(President Marcos tasked Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio to focus on education for these [students] to owe a debt of gratitude to the government, which pays for their education.)

Marcos gave no such order. In previous speeches and press conferences, Marcos only said that he wants Duterte-Carpio to: 

  • Revise the education system to prepare Filipinos for better jobs; 
  • Rethink the basic subjects taught to students;
  • Review the K to 12 education system; and
  • Look after the welfare of teachers.

Moreover, it is not the Department of Education but a different agency – the Commission on Higher Education – responsible for instituting changes in local colleges and universities.

During his inaugural speech, Marcos declared he is confident that Duterte-Carpio will be able to push reforms in the education sector to prepare students for better jobs.

“Once we had an education system that prepared coming generations for more and better jobs, there is hope for a comeback. Vice President and soon-to-be Secretary of Education, Sara Duterte-Carpio, will fit that mission to a T,” Marcos said. 

“What we teach in our schools, the materials used, must be rethought. I am not talking about history. I’m talking about the basics, the sciences, sharpening theoretical aptitude and imparting vocational skills,” he added.

Ten days earlier, Duterte-Carpio said Marcos had already given instructions to review the implementation of DepEd’s K to 12 program. Marcos also previously said training teachers is a priority.

The video by BANAT NEWS TV (created Dec. 26, 2015) got over 241,000 views on YouTube, while the re-uploaded version by FB page Virals Trending Update (April 5, 2022) garnered a total of over 296,400 interactions. 

Both videos appeared five days after the De La Salle University – Dasmariñas turned off its lights for an hour on the night of Marcos’ inauguration in protest of the new administration.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

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