VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Scholarships of students ‘fighting’ vs military NOT revoked

YouTube channel VIRAL PH NEWS falsely claimed in a Jan. 24 video that National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema has confirmed that the scholarships of state university students who are “fighting” against the military have been revoked.

The eight-minute video, headlined “KUMPIRMADO: MGA ESTUDYANTENG LUMALABAN SA MILITAR TINANGGALAN NA NG SCHOLARSHIP AYON SA NYC CHAIR (Confirmed: Students fighting against the military had their scholarships removed according to the NYC Chair)!” is fake.

No official reports support the claim that such action has been taken by the government.

The narrator of VIRAL PH NEWS spuriously claimed the NYC chair made the declaration in a News5 interview, after the abrogation of an accord between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the University of the Philippines (UP) earlier this month.

But the quote of Cardema read in the fake post to support its claim is from a Feb. 20, 2019 One News report.

Nearly two years ago, Cardema faced controversy after saying he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to revoke the scholarship of all “anti-government” students. He later backtracked and said he was only referring to students linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

In the February interview with One News, Cardema said: “Bakit sila pagaaralin ng gobyerno kung sila ay gusto nilang pabagsakin ang gobyerno? Sasabihin nila, hindi ito pera ng gobyerno, pera ito ng taumbayan (Why would the government fund their studies if they want to bring down the government? They will say, it’s not the money of the government, it’s the money of the public).

But the Filipino people formed the government. Kaya pag nilalabanan mo ang gobyerno, nilalabanan mo ang majority ng Filipino people (So when you fight against the government, you fight the majority of the Filipino people).”

The photo of Cardema used in the fake video to show him in an interview setup was a screengrab from a Jan. 16, 2019 episode of the ABS-CBN News Channel show Early Edition.

For the remainder of its video, VIRAL PH NEWS played for six minutes a clip of what appears to be a student protest.

The YouTube channel’s concocted post, which has over 116,000 views so far, surfaced amid the DND’s unilateral termination of a 30-year-old agreement with UP that prevents state forces from entering the university’s campuses without prior notification. The abrogation first made the headlines on Jan. 18.

VIRAL PH NEWS’ video was also embedded on the site Fuziwara (fuziwara.com). This is not the first time VERA Files Fact Check has debunked claims from the said site. (See: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Sara Duterte DID NOT say she wants Trillanes ‘held in mental hospital’)

According to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, the YouTube channel’s post could have reached 440,991 people on FB. Its top three sharers are FB pages Duterte News Info Live, Rodante Marcoleta live, Rodante Marcoleta Supporters.

The channel was created on July 26, 2019.


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

FOR FURTHER READING

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