Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Briones urges schools to distribute marijuana

FALSE: Briones urges schools to distribute marijuana
Briones never said this, and the text used in the claim originally came from a satirical site
At a glance:
  • Claim: Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the Department of Education allows students to smoke marijuana, and encouraged schools to give it out to students to help them answer their modules.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Briones never said this, and the text used in the claim originally came from a satirical site.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was flagged by Facebook Claim Check, a tool that detects dubious content on the platform. It has gained 2,376 reactions, 220 comments, and 3,175 shares as of writing.
Complete details:

Posts falsely claim that Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the Department of Education (DepEd) allowed students to smoke marijuana and encouraged schools to provide it to students in a bid to help them answer their modules.

In part, the text read, “Hinihikayat ni Sec. Briones na magprovide ang mga paaralan ng kahit 1 pirasong dahon ng marijuana sa kanilang mga estudyante upang mas mapapabilis ang pagsagot nila sa modules.

(Secretary Briones encourages schools to provide even a piece of weed to their students to help them answer their modules faster.)

FALSE POSTS Briones urges schools to distribute marijuana

It also cited a fake quote from Briones saying, “Weeds, reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Hindi na madedepress ang ating mga estudyante kung maghihithit sila ng kahit 1 dahon lang kada week. Allowed na po yan ng DepEd.” (Our students won’t be depressed if they smoke at least one piece of weed every week. This is now allowed by DepEd.)

This claim was flagged by Facebook Claim Check, a tool that detects dubious content on the platform. It has gained 2,376 reactions, 220 comments, and 3,175 shares as of writing.

The claim is false. Briones never said this, and the text came from a satirical site.

A Google search of the text led to an article entitled, “DepEd, mamimigay ng libreng weeds para ma-energize ang mga estudyante sa Modular Learning (DepEd to give out weed to energize students for modular learning).”

The article was published by the site “The Philippine Read,” which is identified as a satire page on Facebook. It also has a disclaimer on the site saying, “Ang mga balitang inilambag sa pahayagan na ito ay produkto lamang ng kathang-isip ng mga manunulat na naglalayong mapang-aliw at magpatawa.” (The news published on this publication is only a product of the writers’ imagination, with the objectives of entertainment and comedy.)

There are no news reports or statements that prove Briones said this, nor DepEd allowing marijuana use among students.

In the past, Rappler has debunked other fake quotes attributed to Briones, in relation to the resumption of classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. – Loreben Tuquero/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.