VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Old, FAKE quote card on Hontiveros ‘defending’ Maute group revived

Facebook (FB) page Boycott Abs-Cbn Station recycled on June 8 an old fake quote card of Sen. Risa Hontiveros dubbing the Islamic State-linked Maute group as an “epitome of courage and resilience.”

It’s fabricated. The graphic twisted the senator’s message in a June 6, 2017 interview on the UNTV show Get it Straight with Daniel Razon, where she opposed the declaration of martial law over the whole of Mindanao following the Maute group's attack on Marawi City, Lanao del Sur two weeks prior.

Hontiveros did say the Marawi siege is not “rebellion,” the grounds for martial law, per the Constitution’s definition. But she gave no praise to the Maute group.

Her statement:

Ang rebellion ay may section ng local government at populasyon ng Pilipinas na titiwalag sa pambansang gobyerno... Strictly speaking, hindi iyan rebellion ng Marawi City at ng Marawi residents. In fact, kapag tinanong yung mga ibang mamamayan ng Marawi, ayaw nila sa Maute. Hindi sila yung nagrerebel against the national government

(Rebellion is when there is a section of local government and a population in the Philippines breaking away from the national government… Strictly speaking, that [the Marawi siege] is not a rebellion of Marawi City and Marawi residents. In fact, if you ask some Marawi residents, they don’t like the Maute. They are not the ones rebelling against the national government).”

Meanwhile, the fabricated statement, with its glaring grammatical errors, read: “what Maute group is doing are not rebellion. I believe they are only doing what they think is right . This people has a belief , a conviction that pushed them to move forward . Maaaring pagod na sila sa mga nangyayari sa Lipunan (They might be getting tired of what’s happening to our Society) at least they have the motivation We should be inspired of what they are doing They are the epitome of courage and resilience.”

The fake quote card circulated as early as June 7, 2017 and was debunked by Meme Buster the following day, the same time Hontiveros also issued a statement on her FB page decrying the concocted statement.

The sham post, which used an April 2016 Rappler photo of Hontiveros, was revived this month at a time when opposition against the Anti-Terrorism bill from different sectors is increasing. The controversial measure is awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.

The fake quote card could have reached over 346,000 people, with traffic to the post largely coming from the page itself and FB groups Dugong Bayani Pinoy Ako DU30 Online Warriors and OnLi in OkSi (Occ.Mindoro).

Boycott Abs-Cbn Station was created on Jan. 27, 2016. At least four other netizens and FB groups have re-uploaded the fake post this month.

(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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