VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Pro-Duterte vlogger makes MISLEADING claim about CHR expenses in online post

Website Federalism PH ( carried in its July 9 report a vlog of Duterte supporter Niño Barzaga making a misleading claim in relation to the Commission on Human Rights’ reported P5.4 million spending on hotel seminars.

In the story “PANOORIN: P5.404 Million, Pinang-Hotel ng Commission on Human Rights? (Watch: P5.404 million, used on hotels by the Commission on Human Rights?),” Federalism PH featured an 8-minute clip from Barzaga’s 34-minute curse-laden July 8 Facebook Live video, reacting to the Commission on Audit’s findings on the CHR’s 2017 training expenses.

While COA did question in its audit report CHR’s multimillion-peso expenses for the 20 seminars and workshops it held last year, Barzaga is wrong in claiming that it violates a circular by President Rodrigo Duterte. Barzaga claimed:

“Natatandaan ko mayroon atang memo ang Pangulong Duterte na bawal na magseminar sa mga malalayo at sa mga maluluhong paggasta ng pera ng taumbayan (I think I remember President Duterte issuing a memo prohibiting seminars from being held at faraway places, as well as the extravagant use of the people’s money)…”

The memo Duterte had issued regarding government spending for travel and seminars pertains only to foreign travels by government officials. A report by GMA News Online reveals the CHR’s seminars had only taken place in Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal and Batangas.

Federalism PH’s misleading report, which could have reached more than 82,000 people, was published almost a week after COA published its audit report on the commission.

Its biggest traffic generator from social media is the page Philippine Trending News. Federalism PH was created on June 17.

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