VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report claiming Sotto exposed officials who benefited from ‘cheating’ in 2016 polls NOT TRUE

Website put out a false report claiming Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III named six public officials who profited from alleged cheating in the 2016 elections.

The website published on Jan. 6 an incorrect headline for a 10-month-old video by GMA Network’s 24 Oras, where Sotto said a source had told him that a presidential, vice-presidential and four senatorial candidates benefited from “irregularities” during the 2016 polls.

Sotto did not identify the officials in the March 2018 GMA report and has not done so up till now, rendering untrue’s headline:

“Finally! Sen.Sotto Binulgar ang Anim na Kandidatong Nakinabang sa Iregularidad Noong Nakaraang Election (Finally! Sen. Sotto Exposes the Six Candidates who Benefited from Irregularities in the Last Election)!”’s false story surfaced a week after a Social Weather Stations survey conducted from Dec. 16 to 19 revealed senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe were leading the senatorial race in the May 2019 mid-term elections.

Social media traffic to the story came largely from Facebook pages Pinoy Republic, Pres. Rody Duterte News Global and Pilipinas Trending and could have reached over 287,000 people. is only 14 weeks old, having been created on Sept. 28, 2018.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)