Claim: Former president Benigno Aquino III is still alive and hiding in the United States.
Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video was posted on May 17 by a channel notorious for posting dubious claims online. The video has 168,000 views and 648 comments as of writing.
The bottom line: Pinky Aquino-Abellada, Aquino’s elder sister, confirmed the death of the former president in a statement she read at Heritage Park on June 24, 2021. The family said Aquino died peacefully in his sleep at 6:30 am. His death certificate specified the cause of death as renal disease secondary to diabetes.
Later that day, Aquino’s youngest sister Kris told the media that the body had been cremated. The former president was laid to rest on June 26, 2021.
The former chief executive had been battling several illnesses since November 2019. He had been undergoing dialysis due to diabetes and had undergone a heart operation.
In May 2021, Aquino told Rappler that his health condition was getting worse, revealing that he was losing weight and was having breathing difficulties.
Kris Aquino’s illness: The YouTube video also claimed that Kris Aquino was faking her illness to gain sympathy and support for the 2022 presidential campaign of former vice president Leni Robredo.
However, she has been sharing her medical condition since 2018 – four years before the 2022 elections – when she was first diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria.
According to Inquirer.net, Aquino attended a campaign rally for Robredo in March 2022, months before the actress flew to the US to receive treatment for the rare disease Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.
Aquino remains in the US to continue her medical treatments.
Notorious for false claims: The YouTube channel which posted the claim, PINAS NEWS INSIDER, has been subject to previous Rappler fact-checks:
- FACT CHECK: Sara Duterte didn’t say K-12 was abolished in DepEd’s 2023 report
- FACT CHECK: Marcos has no plans of shutting down NAIA
- FACT CHECK: Ex-president Marcos didn’t provide blueprints for Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project
– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler
Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at email@example.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.