VERA FILES FACT CHECK: TikTok video FALSELY claims Marcos-Duterte tandem closed down UP Diliman

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio did not shut down the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman for being “anti-government,” as alleged in a Tiktok video.

Posted on Sept. 12, the video carried the caption:

“Good Job Marcos/Duterte #uniteam #pbbm #VPSARA #bongbongmarcos2022 #socvillegas #CPPNPA #GOODJOB #pandaytv02 #goodvibes #PRRD #DDS #salamat #UPDILIMAN #CLOSED #teamwork #kakampink.”

The TikTok user also said:

“Kung hindi niyo kinalaban ang gobyerno nang ilang taon after Marcos, ngayon, sana hindi kayo napasara ‘di ba? Sana nga magtuloy-tuloy na ‘yan at nang matahimik na kayo sa kalsada. Andami niyong alam kasi. Pinapag-aral kayo ng gobyerno. Pera ng taong bayan ‘yan, tapos kinakalaban niyo ‘yung nagpaaral sa inyo?” 

(If you did not fight the government for many years after Marcos, then maybe you won’t be closed down today right? I hope this continues so that you will be quiet on the street. You guys are know-it-alls. The government is funding your studies. That’s the people’s money, then you fight against those who support your education?)

The TikTok video’s background picture is from an original thumbnail of another misleading YouTube video stressing the same false claim. The thumbnail read: “Confirmed! Sarado na. Ito ang ayaw ipalabas ng bayarang media. Goodbye! UP Diliman.” (Confirmed! It is closed. This is what the paid media doesn’t want to air. Goodbye! UP Diliman.)

This is false. There are no reports of Marcos or Duterte shutting down UP Diliman for being critical. Like other academic institutions in the country, UP closed its campus during the pandemic but for the current school year, the state university opted for combined in-person and online classes.

This is not the first time that false claims about UP closing down emerged. (Read:  VERA FILES FACT CHECK: UP is NOT closing down)

The latest erroneous video was shared on TikTok three weeks after the Department of Budget and Management submitted to Congress the proposed national budget for Fiscal Year 2023, suggesting a P22.5-billion budget cut for the UP System.

Last May, the UP President’s Advisory Council (UP-PAC) released a statement against the red-tagging of the UP Community by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), calling the accusations baseless and paranoid. 

“We will continue to defend our academic spaces. We will protect our students vigorously against red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation. We will safeguard the University from destabilizing forces. Critical thinking and service to community and country are hallmarks of UP’s tradition as an institution of higher learning,” UP-PAC said.

The TikTok video by @pandaytv0.2 now has 6,744 views, 467 reactions, 72 comments and 14 reposts. The YouTube video by Banat News TV (created on Dec 16, 2015), where the Tiktok video background thumbnail originally came from, now has 630,000 views.

The channel also posted the video on its Facebook page Banat News TV (created Jan. 12, 2022) with a disclaimer that it is not responsible for any incorrect information in contributed articles apparently to avoid accountability. The channel has been fact-checked by VERA Files several times.

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