VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Tito Sotto DID NOT tell Robredo, opposition senators to resign if they ‘can’t support Duterte’

A YouTube video that was widely circulated this month is propagating a fake claim that Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III challenged Vice President Leni Robredo and senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Franklin Drilon to resign if they cannot support President Rodrigo Duterte.

Not true. The video revived old statements of Sotto that were not directed at Robredo and the senators.

The clip carrying the fabricated claim was first uploaded on Oct. 9 by the YouTube channel IDØL CÀLØY. It was embedded in an article a day later by website KIDSTVA (fuziwara.com). The accounts have a history of publishing the same pieces of disinformation.

The video claimed that Sotto recently told Robredo, Pangilinan, Hontiveros, Drilon and “other critics” this: “If you can’t support Duterte, resign.”

This was actually a non-verbatim quote from a news report by ABS-CBN on Sept. 13, 2017. Sotto was not referring to the opposition politicians named in the video, but to the Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon, a known critic of Duterte's war on drugs, after the House of Representatives slashed the agency’s budget to P1,000.

His verbatim quote from that media interview—also wrongly claimed by IDØL CÀLØY to be a continuation of the jab at “Robredo”—was: “Kung ikaw nagtatrabaho ka sa isang government, hindi mo gusto ‘yung polisiya nung namumuno, eh ‘di umalis ka, at saka mo siya pintasan (If you work in the government and you don’t like the policy of the one who leads, then leave, and then you can criticize him).”

The video bearing the fake claim was uploaded after Duterte on Sept. 29 said he has offered to resign from his post because of the “unending” corruption in government. Sotto commented on it saying it is not the president, but corrupt officials, who should resign.

IDØL CÀLØY’s clip now has over 307,000 views. Meanwhile, KIDSTVA’s version has received more than 10,000 Facebook reactions and could have reached at least 160,000 people.

Its top three sharers on Facebook are pages Philippines Pinas News., Philippines trendinh news, and public group BBM - The Most Awaited President - MARCOS LOYALIST GROUP.

IDØL CÀLØY was created on Feb. 23, 2019; KIDSTVA on Nov. 11, 2015.

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

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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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