Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: No calls from Marcos, Ombudsman for Padilla to resign from Senate

Rappler.com

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FACT CHECK: No calls from Marcos, Ombudsman for Padilla to resign from Senate
No official sources confirm Robin Padilla’s resignation as senator. The misleading video merely critiques Padilla’s stance on US help in the West Philippine Sea.

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Office of the Ombudsman are calling for the resignation of Senator Robinhood Padilla. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the YouTube video has over 117,762 views, 2,600 reactions, and 763 comments.

The video’s thumbnail bears the text “Sinibak sa pwesto, ito ang bangungot ni Robin” (Fired from office, this is Robin’s nightmare). An arrow is shown pointing to a photo of Padilla.

The bottom line: The video did not provide any evidence supporting the claim. It only presented commentary from SMNI broadcaster Mike Abe explaining why Padilla should resign from his position. The commentary was originally posted on Abe’s YouTube channel, Mike Abe Opinions, on September 22, 2023. 

Both Marcos and the Office of the Ombudsman have not released any statement calling for the senator’s resignation. 

The Senate website’s roster of members of the 19th Congress also shows that Padilla is still a sitting senator.

Stance in WPS: In the commentary used in the misleading video, Abe criticized Padilla’s stance on the presence of the US Navy in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and pointed out that other senators did not share Padilla’s view.

On September 12, Padilla questioned the presence of the Western Superpower in the WPS amid recent maritime tensions with China. A US Navy Poseidon plane had been present in the Philippines’ resupply missions to its outpost in Ayungin Shoal, which came after Chinese ships harassed Philippine vessels during an August resupply attempt.

The senator insisted that the US should not be in the WPS as it could lead to an “escalation” in tensions between the Philippines and China.

But prior to the presence of the US in the WPS, the Philippines had already been subject to China’s aggressive moves in the area. In February, China pointed lasers at a Philippine Coast Guard ship (PCG) and used water cannons against the PCG in August.

Tensions have flared anew between Manila and Beijing in recent months as China continues to defy the landmark 2016 Hague ruling invalidating its claim over the entire South China Sea. 

Amid Washington’s recent declaration that its commitment to the Philippines’ defense remains “iron-clad,” Beijing said the US has no right to get involved in the maritime dispute.

Similar claims: Rappler has debunked similar claims about Padilla’s alleged resignation:

 – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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