FALSE: Duterte scraps K to 12 program

FALSE: Duterte scraps K to 12 program
The President has no power to repeal a law

Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte has abolished the K to 12 program.

Nine Facebook users and pages posted statuses with similar claims that Duterte has scrapped the K to 12 program. All of them included either the word “confirmed” or “officially” in their posts.

Rappler spotted these claims via Facebook Claim Check, the social networking company’s tool dashboard that flags suspicious content shared on the platform for fact checkers to review.

Based on Claim Check, there are at least 6 pages and 3 users that posted this claim on their accounts that had at least a thousand shares.

The 6 pages are:

  • 12:AM
  • Loneliness
  • Pakyo Ka
  • payt me
  • Sweet Message
  • A r c h 咯不

While the 3 users are:

  • Ūmm’ē Fārwāh
  • Shìt Pòśťèŕ
  • Laurence Cabal Malubay

The claims from these accounts combined had over 238,000 shares, 25,000 comments, and 34,000 reactions as of writing. All of them were posted on May 19, 2019.

Rating: FALSE

The Facts: The President has no power to repeal laws.

In May 2013, then-president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III signed Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.  

The 1987 Constitution states that the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines. This means that the legislature, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives, is the only authorized branch of government that can make, amend, and repeal laws.

In a press briefing on Monday, May 20, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he has not heard anything about Duterte requesting the chamber to stop the implementation of the K to 12 program.

The Supreme Court can also repeal an existing law by declaring it unconstitutional. But the High Court already junked petitions to declare RA 10533 unconstitutional in November 2018, saying that it is “an exercise of the State’s police power.” (READ: Supreme Court declares K-12 constitutional)

The Department of Education also issued a statement dispelling the claims on Monday, May 20. “Sentiments and questions on social media pertaining to the supposed plan to scrap the K to 12 Basic Education Program are clearly based on misinformation and lack of critical discernment,” DepEd said.

Out of the 9 Facebook accounts that shared this information, only one of them indicated the basis of its post in the comment section. Rappler reached out to the others but none of them responded.

Facebook user Ūmm’ē Fārwāh, whose status received over 53,000 shares, pointed to the May 15 article of DZXL 558 Manila of the Radio Mindanao Network as its source.

The article, however, only reported that Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago filed a resolution urging the Duterte administration to stop the implementation of the K to12 program.

“We have said time and again that the K to 12 program will not answer the country’s declining quality of education. In fact, Chairman De Vera’s revelations proved that this program only yielded more problems,” Elago said in a statement.

No action has been taken on that resolution.

Elago filed the resolution after Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair Prospero de Vera III revealed “defects” of the K to 12 Transition Program, such as delayed project implementation and instances of project-based researchers not getting paid.

But for its part, CHED denied that it is calling for the revocation of the entire K to 12 program and clarified that they are only reviewing the transition aspect of it.

DepEd backed this up, saying: “The claims circulating online came after news of the CHED’s plan to ‘review and change’ the system for its K to 12 Transition Program was misconstrued to mean the implementation of the entire K to 12 Program. These two are not one and the same.” – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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