Election fact checks

FALSE: Comelec spokesman James Jimenez supports ‘Run Sara Run’ campaign

FALSE: Comelec spokesman James Jimenez supports ‘Run Sara Run’ campaign
Jimenez only says the 'Run Sara Run' campaign does not violate election laws at this point. He does not personally support the campaign urging Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president in 2022.
At a glance:
  • Claim: Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez supports the “Run Sara Run” campaign.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Jimenez only said that the “Run Sara Run” campaign does not violate election laws at this point because there is no official candidate yet. He neither personally supported Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte nor the campaigns made by her supporters to urge her to run for president in 2022. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: The videos containing this claim had over 38,700 views on YouTube and Facebook combined.
Complete details:

YouTube channel Showbiz Fanaticz falsely claimed in a video uploaded on Tuesday, March 2, that Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez supports the “Run Sara Run” campaign that urges presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run in the 2022 presidential election. 

“Kaya’t ayon mismo sa Comelec, malinaw ang intensyon ng mga tao at buo ang tiwala nila sa alkalde ng Davao na kumandidato ito sa 2022 at ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan ng kanyang ama,” the video said.

(The Comelec itself said that the people’s intention is clear and that they have their full trust in the Davao City mayor to run for president in 2022, to continue what her father started.)

The video also falsely claimed that Jimenez defended the mayor and her supporters, and even shamed Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for supposedly opposing the “Run Sara Run” campaign. 

Maraming netizens ang naniniwala, maging si Jimenez, na tila malaki ang posibilidad na manalo sa susunod na eleksyon si Mayor Sara Duterte dahil kitang-kita raw naman sa mga tao na mayayaman ang mga sumusuporta, at tila naniniwala sa kandidatura ni Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte sa 2022 election,” the video said.

(Many netizens, even Jimenez, believe that Mayor Sara Duterte has a high chance of winning the next elections because she has a lot of wealthy supporters who believe in her candidacy in 2022.)

This is false. Although Jimenez did say that the “Run Sara Run” banners do not violate election laws, he did not personally support the mayor nor the campaigns made by her supporters to urge her to run for president in 2022. The article cited by Showbiz Fanaticz as a source for its content also did not say that Jimenez supports her.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) on February 24, Jimenez was asked if the “Run Sara Run” banners going around several places in the country are violating election laws. Jimenez answered that there is technically no violation made by those who distributed paraphernalia urging Duterte-Carpio to run because there is no official candidate yet.

Jimenez said that “in order for premature campaigning to be committed there should be an official candidate.” He also called the paraphernalia “a matter of free expression” at this point.

But in the same interview, Jimenez also said that campaigning this early, even if the person involved has not yet filed his or her certificate of candidacy, skews the playing field. He said such activity shows that a group has a “bigger war chest,” which could be used to win the election eventually.

“So, I think people should reject candidates who are campaigning this early or who are tolerating other people campaigning in their name even if they haven’t yet filed their certificate of candidacy,” Jimenez said.

Showbiz Fanaticz cited a Manila Standard article as its source, but the article only quoted Jimenez as saying that there is technically no violation made yet by the “Run Sara Run” campaign. There was no mention of Moreno in both the ANC interview and the Manila Standard article.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Jimenez also called out Showbiz Fanaticz for spreading “a lie” and urged his followers to report the video for containing false information.

Showbiz Fanaticz uploaded the false video both on its YouTube and Facebook accounts. As of writing, the YouTube video had 38,364 views and 512 comments, while the Facebook video had 400 views, 34 reactions, 10 shares, and 7 comments. Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool, flagged the Facebook video for containing potentially dubious information.

Showbiz Fanaticz has repeatedly uploaded videos with false information in the past. In January, it also falsely claimed that Sara Duterte had officially declared her presidential candidacy. – 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.

More fact checks on YouTube channel Showbiz Fanaticz:

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