FALSE: Poe, Hontiveros silent over coronavirus crisis

FALSE: Poe, Hontiveros silent over coronavirus crisis
Both senators have responded to the coronavirus crisis by doing their jobs as legislators and by providing assistance to frontliners

Senators Grace Poe and Risa Hontiveros have been silent over the coronavirus crisis, but were very vocal about the closure of ABS-CBN.

A video posted by YouTube channel Boknoy D Great contained this claim. It was posted on May 14.

Kapag COVID ang pinaguusapan kung saan nakasalalay ang buhay ng mga Pilipino, mga kababayan, ay tila walang pakialam ang mga senador na ito, mga kababayan. Pero ‘pag ABS-CBN na ang pinag-uusapan, ay sumusulpot na parang mga kabute ang mga taong ito,” the video said.

(When it comes to COVID-19 where the lives of the Filipino people are at stake, my countrymen, these senators do not seem to care. But when it comes to ABS-CBN, they suddenly turn up like wild mushrooms.)

The video added that Hontiveros has barely spoken up about COVID-19 and that the only times she said something about the crisis were turned into an opportunity to criticize President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Wala namang naiambag na mabuti o mga solusyong dapat gawin maliban sa pambibira sa administrasyong duterte. At ni minsan mga kababayan ay hindi natin nakita si hontiveros na namigay ng tulong sa mga mamamayan,” it said.

([Hontiveros] contributed nothing good nor suggested a solution. She did nothing but slam the Duterte administration. Not once did we see her give assistance to Filipino citizens.)

Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool that identifies potentially dubious posts shared on the platform, flagged the video for fact checkers to verify. It had 7,843 views as of writing.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Both Poe and Hontiveros filed bills and participated in deliberations over legislation that address the impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines. They have also extend assistance to frontliners and other citizens affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Poe voted in favor of the passing of Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which granted 30 special powers to Duterte to help him address the coronavirus crisis in the country. Poe also filed Senate Bill No. 1450 or the Pandemic Preparedness Response Act on April 27, which seeks to create a Center for Disease Control.

While Hontiveros voted against RA 11469, she filed Senate Bill No. 1441 or the Balik Trabahong Ligtas Act on April 30. The bill seeks to provide mandatory life and additional health insurance for all workers during health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 crisis.

These bills are pending at the committee level.

Although senators are mainly tasked to craft and legislate laws, both Poe and Hontiveros have also initiated relief projects for frontliners and communities affected by the pandemic.

Among other things, Poe distributed medical supplies and rice, while Hontiveros donated sanitation tents to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and Quirino Memorial Medical Center. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

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