VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report on arrested businessman's De Lima 'connection' MISLEADING'

A misleading story was published Aug. 25 by website insinuating links between Sen. Leila De Lima and a certain Arnold Padilla, a businessman arrested a day earlier for illegal possession of firearms.

The story bore the headline, "Shocking! Arnold Padilla nahaharap sa patong patong na kaso at Posibleng konektado pa kay De Lima (Shocking! Arnold Padilla faces stack of cases, possibly connected to De Lima)." claimed the Department of Justice "dismissed" a murder case filed "in 2010" against Padilla while De Lima still sat as Justice secretary.

This claim is wrong and misleading.

While Padilla is indeed facing murder and frustrated murder charges, along with his mother, for the December 2010 killing of his sister Yvonne Padilla-Chua, the complaint was only lodged at the DOJ in October 2013, according to reports by, and ABS-CBN News online.

No reports from reputable media organizations carry the claim that the murder charges have been dismissed. The Padilla mother and son filed in November 2013 a counter-affidavit denying the claims made against them.'s misleading story, which could have reached more than 593,000 people, was published a day after Padilla was arrested for illegal possession of guns and grenades, which were discovered by police in his Makati City home.

Padilla also made headlines earlier in August after he became the subject of a viral video where he was seen verbally and physically attacking traffic enforcers after they flagged him for trying to beat a red light.

Social media traffic to the story largely came from the pages Dugong Maharlika and Duterte News Media. was created May 4.

(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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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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