FALSE: Villegas says acquit suspects in Cebu teen's rape-slay case
Claim: Facebook page Pinoy News Portal claimed in a post on March 12 that Archbishop Socrates Villegas supposedly said the suspects in the rape and slay of Christine Silawan should not be punished because God says “forgive your enemies.”
"'Wag parusahan ang gumahasa sa 16 anyos na si Christine Lee Silawan. Dahil ang sabi ng Diyos ay forgive your enemies! No to death penalty for rapist!”
(Do not punish the rapists of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan. Because God says forgive your enemies! No to death penalty for rapist!)
The post generated strong reactions, with one user criticizing the Archbishop for supposedly not reading the bible.
Some, however, tagged the post "fake news" and urged everyone to research about posts on social media before sharing, commenting, or reacting.
The post has garnered around 800 reactions, 1,000 comments, and 6,000 shares as of this writing. Pinoy News Portal has been known to share articles from the site newsglobal.info and memes involving Philippine politicians.
Readers e-mailed Rappler the post for verification.
The facts: Villegas himself denied issuing a statement about acquitting the suspects in Christine Silawan's rape-slay case. In a message to Rappler, Villegas said the comment was fake and a "ridiculous lie."
Further, Villegas's official Facebook page has not released any statement on Silawan's death and no news organization has reported on the same comment as having come from Villegas.
The Archbishop has been a target of falsehoods recently. Rappler earlier published a fact check on his supposed endorsement of the opposition slate for the 2019 Philippine elections. – Addie Pobre/Rappler.com
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