VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website recycles FAKE NEWS about Hontiveros receiving millions from drug lord monthly

Website newsinsiderph.info published July 22 a story that revives a fake claim about Sen. Risa Hontiveros receiving millions monthly from a drug lord.

Bearing the headline "Nakakagulat: Bistado! Risa Hontiveros tumatanggap raw ng milyones kada buwan ng isang umaming Druglord kapalit raw sa kanilang siguridad. PAnoorin (Shocking: Busted! Risa Hontiveros gets millions a month from a confessed Druglord in exchange for their safety. Watch)," the story carried as its content an edited clip from an almost two-hour long Aug. 11, 2017 Facebook Live video by the pro-Duterte vlogger Dante Maravillas.

The 10-minute clip was uploaded Aug. 13, 2017 by Youtube channel Tatay Duterte News with the title "RISA HONTIVEROS TUMATANGGAP NG MILYONES KADA BUWAN SA DRUGLORD SIGURADO MAY KAPALIT (Risa Hontiveros receives millions monthly from a druglord, definitely for a price)."

Maravillas, in his monologue, claimed Hontiveros and several other Liberal Party senators received campaign funding from Kenneth Dong, alleged middleman in the P6.4 billion shipment of illegal drugs into the country that May.

Tatay Duterte News and newsinsiderph.info blew out of proportion Maravillas' claim.

While Hontiveros and party-mate Sen. Joel Villanueva did admit receiving P5 million and P3 million respectively from Dong for the 2016 elections, there have been no legitimate news reports about Hontiveros receiving millions monthly.

Newsinsiderph.info published its fake story, which could have reached more than 456,000 people, four days after Hontiveros made news for saying "Clothes don't cause rape, rapists do," in reaction to a controversial anti-rape campaign material by the Angono, Rizal Municipal Police Station.

Traffic to the story was largely generated from social media by the pages Alan Peter Cayetano Supporters International, Marcos Loyalist and Tatay Digong Totoong Pagbabago. Newsinsiderph.info was created in November 2017; Tatay Duterte News in December 2016.

Vera Files has also reviewed a number stories that used videos by Maravillas, a "broadcaster" according to his Facebook page Tarabangan Albay News Television, and most of them were misleading or false.


(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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