Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: No Liza Marcos order for Escudero’s impeachment


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FACT CHECK: No Liza Marcos order for Escudero’s impeachment
The false claim circulates following a viral video that shows the First Lady taking Senate President Chiz Escudero’s wine glass during an Independence Day event in Malacañang

Claim: First Lady Liza Marcos orchestrated Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s impeachment and filed criminal charges against him. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video containing the false claim has garnered 8,800 views, 448 likes, and 70 comments as of writing. It was posted by a channel named “SAGAM TV,” which has 193,000 subscribers. 

The video’s title reads: “Smugz sumosobra na! Pagkatapos ipa imperch [sic] si Escudero, kinasuhan pa! Karumal dumal talaga!” (Smugz is too much! After having Escudero impeached, cases have now been filed against him! Truly foul!). The video uses “Smugz” to refer to the First Lady. The term gained popularity after the First Lady’s relatives were alleged to have links to smuggling operations, with popular vloggers like Maharlika and Bagong Lipunan using similar terms.

According to the video’s narrator, a “dramatic” Senate session concluded with a majority vote to impeach Escudero over allegations of corruption and abuse of power, followed immediately by the filing of criminal cases against him. Citing “trustworthy sources,” the narrator claims that the First Lady played a key role in orchestrating both events in a bid to consolidate power.

Pictures of Escudero, his wife Heart Evangelista, the First Lady, and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are shown throughout the video. Around four minutes in, a commentator begins discussing the viral incident of the First Lady drinking from Escudero’s champagne glass during an Independence Day reception in Malacañang.

Text, Adult, Female

The facts: Senators are not on the list of impeachable officials in the Philippine Constitution. They can only be expelled or suspended with the concurrence of two-thirds of all Senate members, according to Article VI, Section 16, of the Constitution.

While the video mentions a supposed Senate session voting on Escudero’s impeachment, the upper chamber’s live streams of its plenary sessions show that no such event occurred. The Senate’s website also shows that Escudero is still Senate President.

Furthermore, no credible sources confirm any alleged cases recently filed against Escudero. 


Viral video: Escudero and Marcos were recently linked in a now-viral video that shows the First Lady grabbing Escudero’s wine glass during the June 12 vin d’honneur, an Independence Day event held in Malacañang. 

The video drew mixed reactions from social media users, with some criticizing the First Lady for seemingly treating the Senate president like a waiter.

Escudero responded to the video by saying he was just being “gentlemanly,” while Marcos made light of the incident, explaining that she and Escudero have been friends since law school.

Dramatic appointment: The misleading video was posted in the aftermath of Escudero replacing Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri as Senate President. Zubiri stepped down on May 20 after colleagues told him he no longer had the numbers to keep the Senate presidency

Escudero then assumed the Senate’s top post amid speculations that President Marcos had a hand in Zubiri’s ouster. Marcos has denied this but confirmed that he was aware of Escudero’s bid for the Senate presidency.

Previous fact checks: Rappler has debunked other false claims on the supposed removal of government officials from their positions:

—Shay Du/Rappler.com

Shay Du is a Rappler intern. She is an incoming fourth-year mass communication student at Silliman University.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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