HOAX: Franklin Drilon death hoax

Claim: Senator Franklin Drilon has been killed in an ambush in Iloilo City.

The blog thetmz.info posted the claim on the second week of October.

According to Facebook’s Claim Check dashboard, the post was published on the site on October 9. It was enqueued on the dashboard’s algorithm and flagged by Rappler on October 17.

The post garnered minimal social media engagement.

Rating: HOAX

The facts: The senator is still alive.

Media relations officer Gino Arellano confirmed to Rappler on October 19 that Drilon was in Geneva, Switzerland, attending the International Parliamentary Union Assembly.

The post embedded a 7-second YouTube video entitled “Drilon Ambush” published on October 9 by “INQ Reports.” The video is a clip of an October 2 State of the Nation news report on the murder of La Union Mayor Alexander Buquing on October 1.

A low-quality photo of what seems to be Buquing was also overlaid in the embedded video to replace the photo of Buquing. The photo came from Facebook page “Duterte kami.”

Here are screenshots showing the original and edited video.


This type of post usually contains a legitimate news report about a different incident. This time, the video was reuploaded and edited to leave out the details pertaining to the case. Rappler has observed also that this type of post usually shifts to a different content later on.

The post has also been fact-checked by Inquirer,  VERA Files, and Agence France-Presse.

Rappler has also checked death hoaxes about Gary Valenciano, Joshua Aquino, Jessy Mendiola, Jet Li, and Christine Estepa. Miguel Imperial/Rappler.com

If you suspect a Facebook page, group, account, a website, or an article is spreading false information, let Rappler know by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.