VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report claiming Congress to be ‘abolished’ FALSE

An Aug. 21 story by website claiming that the Senate and House of Representatives will be abolished is not true.

The claim presents as fact what is only an opinion by netizen Dante Maravillas in his almost two-hour-long Aug. 17 Facebook Live video:

“Kung ako iyong pangulo, i-declare ko na ang martial law. Close the Senate…the Congress, isara na iyan (If I were the president, I’d declare martial law. (I’ll) close the Senate…the Congress).”

Maravillas’ statement, albeit an opinion, is also inaccurate and not possible under the Constitution, which provides safeguards against the declaration of martial law.

A 15-minute clip of the Facebook Live video was grabbed by Youtube channel TOKHANG TV and used in the story headlined “WATCH! Sa wakas Iaabolish na ang Senate at Congress dahil hadlang sa totoong pagbabago (Watch! Finally, Senate and Congress to be abolished for blocking genuine change).”’s false story was published a day after former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said senators will likely “yield” and give in to the shift to federalism if President Rodrigo Duterte “begins to act forcefully.”

Social media traffic to the story largely came from the pages Dugong Maharlika, Duterte news media and Marcos Defenders Worldwide Unlimited, and could have reached over 532,000 people. 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.)