Website published May 30 a false story claiming the Senate is ordering the arrest of former Commission on Elections chair Andres Bautista for misdeeds during his term. tricks readers with the story headlined “PANOORIN! PINAKA MA INIT NA BALITA: ANDRES BAUTISTA IPINAAARESTO NA NG SENADO DAHIL SA KABALUKTOTAN NITO SA SERBISYO (Watch! Breaking News: Senate having Andres Bautista arrested for corrupt service)!”

It was in February, not recently, that the Senate issued an arrest order against Bautista for ignoring a subpoena to attend an investigation into his alleged unexplained wealth. The former poll chief, who has been in the United States since November 2017, argued he had not received any summons and submitted instead a sworn affidavit in March.

The story’s content is not an actual news report but a copied May 29 Facebook Live video of Presidential Communications Operations Office social media strategist Trixie Cruz-Angeles. In the video, Cruz-Angeles ventures to explain the status of the Senate’s probe into Bautista’s alleged money laundering activities.

Contrary to Cruz-Angeles’ explanation that the arrest order has been withdrawn after Bautista sent his affidavit, the resolution to withdraw the order is still being routed for signatures, according to the office of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero. Escudero is chair of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies conducting the Bautista probe. was created in February 2018. The post’s biggest traffic generators on social media are Facebook pages Pres. Rody Duterte Worldwide Suporters and Pinoy Republic, and could have reached more than 495,000 people.

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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