FALSE: Risa Hontiveros calls rebels ‘heroes of the land’


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FALSE: Risa Hontiveros calls rebels ‘heroes of the land’
Senator Risa Hontiveros again denies ever saying the quote attributed to her twice – first in 2018 and again in 2020

Claim: A graphic posted by Facebook page Enlightened PINOY said Senator Risa Hontiveros considers armed rebels “heroes” of the country and is looking to file a resolution “that will allow rebel groups to receive minimum wage salary and other benefits.”

The graphic stitched together a photo of armed rebels, a portrait of Hontiveros, and a quote that was also attributed to the senator. “After all, they are considered heroes of the land. They are risking their lives for country,” the senator supposedly said. It was posted last Monday, January 6.

Facebook’s tool that identifies suspicious content shared across the platform flagged Enlightened PINOY’s post for fact checkers to verify. As of writing, it had already been shared 418 times, had 920 likes, and 431 comments.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Hontiveros denied saying the words attributed to her in the graphic, describing it as “fake news.” None of her recent speeches also mentioned this.


Rappler also reached out to Enlightened PINOY to ask for the source of its post, but the page only sent an automated reply that did not answer the question.

The claim is actually an old one and is being circulated again in January 2020. In April 2018, the exact same claim appeared in a different graphic and was posted by a different page (Bayang Pilipinas). Hontiveros also denied the content of the post at that time.

As of January 2020, the page Bayang Pilipinas is no longer available on Facebook.

Before becoming senator, Hontiveros was a representative of the Akbayan party from 2004 to 2010. Akbayan tags itself as a “democratic left party” in the Philippines. It is often confused with Anakbayan, another leftist group with which Akbayan had a nasty public feud.

This is not the first time Enlightened PINOY posted false information on its page. In April 2019, the page claimed that China confirmed former president Benigno Aquino III and former senator Antonio Trillanes IV sold Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal). Four months later, it also said that Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago told parents of student-activists that they are cowards and lapdogs of President Rodrigo Duterte, unlike their children. None of these claims were true. – 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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