VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Trillanes to probe Pacquiao’s hidden wealth a HOAX

A viral Facebook (FB) post claiming Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV wants to investigate the “hidden wealth” of Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is fabricated.

On March 14, a netizen uploaded a composite photo of the two senators with the fictitious caption:

“trillanes gustong pa imbistigahan kung san galing ang tagong yaman ni manny ([T]rillanes wants to probe the source of Manny’s hidden wealth).”

There is no record of Trillanes saying Pacquiao has any “hidden wealth” and that he wants to “examine its source.”

A reverse image search shows the composite photo of Trillanes and Pacquiao was sourced from the latter’s official FB page. The pictures were taken during the March 8, 2017 Senate session where both senators delivered privilege speeches.

During his speech, Pacquiao said he took offense at Trillanes’ statement to the media where the opposition senator rebuked him after he questioned the “spiritual renewal” of retired police officer Arturo Lascañas.

Trillanes applogized to Pacquiao after the session.

Lascañas is an alleged self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) hit man. In 2016, he denied in a senate hearing the existence of a group of hired killers sanctioned by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte when he was Davao City mayor. The retired policeman recanted his statement in 2017 and said he had lied under oath despite experiencing a “spiritual renewal” in 2015.

That prompted Pacquiao to ask Lascanas whether he knows what spiritual renewal is.

The fake FB post was published three days after Trillanes asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 from retrying the rebellion case filed against him in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. The appellate court denied his petition on March 18.

The fabricated post has been shared over 19,000 times, garnering 12,000 reactions and almost 1,000 comments from netizens.

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