Skip to content
post thumbnail

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: VP Sara’s retraction of EDSA anniversary statement needs context

WHAT WAS CLAIMED

Vice President Sara Duterte retracted a statement posted on her Facebook page expressing support and calling for the commemoration of the 38th anniversary of the 1986 people power revolution. Her staff said the statement was mistakenly posted without her approval.

OUR VERDICT

Needs Context:

The Office of the Vice President deleted a Feb. 25 statement which would have been Duterte’s first on the EDSA anniversary and would have been a significant shift from her 2017 statement questioning why the 1986 uprising has become the “standard definition of freedom in the country.”

Feb 28, 2024

VERA Files

|

3-minute read

ifcn badge

Share This Article

:

Vice President Sara Duterte retracted a statement supporting and calling for the commemoration of the EDSA People Power revolution which her office said was mistakenly posted on Duterte’s official Facebook page. This needs context.

STATEMENT

In a Facebook post on Feb. 27, Duterte explained why her EDSA anniversary statement was deleted:

“What I said in 2017 regarding the February 25 EDSA anniversary has never changed. My position remains the same today. I did not intend to issue a statement this year as I did not the previous year.”

Source: Inday Sara Duterte, STATEMENT February 27, 2024 (archive), Feb. 27, 2024

In 2017, the vice president questioned why the EDSA uprising became the “standard definition of freedom in the country.” 

FACT

In what would have been her first statement on the EDSA anniversary as vice president, Duterte called on the public to commemorate the “brave souls” who fought for democracy and freedom during the People Power revolution. 

VERA Files Fact Check: Vice President Sara Duterte retracted a statement supporting and calling for the commemoration of the EDSA People Power revolution which her office said was mistakenly posted on Duterte’s official Facebook page.

“As we celebrate this momentous occasion, let us remember the lessons of EDSA – the power of unity, the strength of the Filipino spirit and the importance of standing up for what is right,” the Feb. 25 statement read.

On Feb. 26, the OVP told reporters on Viber that Duterte did not approve of the statement and that it was mistakenly posted by its social media team. The OVP asked reporters not to quote the official reason for the takedown.

The disowned statement on the 38th anniversary of the EDSA revolution was a seemingly significant shift in the stance of the vice president who, in 2017, said:

“I find it hard to understand why this bloodless revolution has become the standard definition of freedom for our country and this standard is forced down our throats by a certain group of individuals who think they are better than everyone else.”

This was in response to Archbishop Socrates Villegas, former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, who had accused her father and then-president Rodrigo Duterte of defacing the memory of the EDSA revolution.

BACKSTORY

Soledad Roa Duterte, the vice president’s paternal grandmother who died in February 2012, was at the forefront of the Yellow Friday Movement of Davao, which helped fan the February EDSA Revolution that led to the assumption of former president Corazon Aquino to power in 1986.

(Read The Duterte-Marcos Connection)

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form.

Sources

VP Sara’s Feb. 25 EDSA Anniversary statement

VP Sara’s 2017 statement on EDSA revolution

(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.)

Get VERAfied

Receive fresh perspectives and explainers in your inbox every Tuesday and Friday.