VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report on Catholic Church's "strong" resistance to proposed taxation misleading

An April 15 story by website about the Catholic Church's reaction to a proposal by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez lifting tax exemption on religious groups and church-run institutions is misleading.

The report said the Catholic Church "strongly resisted" the proposal, and quoted Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo as saying: "Hopefully they (officials) are rational enough that before they do so, they look at the books first. Many times, what they say is out of revenge for criticism against them.”

Pabillo indeed said that in an interview with ABS-CBN on April 14. However, he did not "strongly" or "fiercely" resist the proposal as the report made it appear. The interview on ABS-CBN’s Bandila shows Pabillo calmly reacting to the proposal.

The gossipdiary.comstory was posted a day after published the report seeking the Catholic Church's comment after Alvarez suggested in March that church-run schools be taxed.

The original website was created in 2008. In October last year, it was bought and turned into a site that publishes stories by “Duterte’s Angels.”

The biggest traffic generators on social media are President Rody Duterte - Federal Movement International, Marcos Loyalist and Alan Peter Cayetano Supporters International, and could have reached more than 2.1 million people.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this initiative 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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