HOAX: Senator Tito Sotto 'tagged' as financier of NPA rebels
Claim: A commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) named Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III as among the rebel group’s financier.
The blog ddsnewsfiles.xyz posted the claim on November 25. The post has been shared 6 times on different Facebook pages and groups, mostly supporters of Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
All of these totaled at least 726 interactions and 526,971 followers on Facebook.
The post’s only content is a YouTube video.
The facts: In the embedded video, there is no mention of an NPA commander nor of Sotto being identified as the group’s financier.
Asked by Rappler about the claim, Sotto’s office called it “fake news.”
There are also no reports from credible news organizations supporting the claim.
The embedded YouTube video is from the channel, “News ThatMatter.” It was uploaded on August 10, 2017, and has more than one million views.
The video is composed of two clips: a reupload of President Rodrigo Duterte’s media interview during his visit to the 401st Infantry Brigade in Butuan City on June 17, 2017, and a clip of an unidentified soldier talking to two unidentified men about joining the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
There is no mention of Sotto in Duterte’s media interview. It was also where Duterte promised Lumad NPA members they would be taken in as soldiers if they surrendered. He also claimed that 75% of the guerrillas in the area are Lumad.
Only Senator Panfilo Lacson was mentioned in the media interview, as he was cited by a reporter in a question (at the 12:30 mark in the video) to the President regarding Lacson’s statement on the privacy issues surrounding Duterte’s health.
The blog ddsnewsfiles.xyz is a new one. It was registered as a website on November 19.
Its first post was on November 22. It is also similar to other blogs that Rappler has checked for having no bylines, editorial board, disclaimers, and contact details. – Miguel Imperial/Rappler.com
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