Aquino Fact Checks

FALSE: Noynoy Aquino to be arrested for stealing Yolanda funds

FALSE: Noynoy Aquino to be arrested for stealing Yolanda funds
There have been no orders to arrest former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III
At a glance:
  • Claim: Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III will be arrested for stealing the funds meant for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) rehabilitation.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Aquino has not been arrested. The video containing this claim used a misleading title. The video discusses an article about the turnover of Yolanda housing units in Iloilo and netizens’ reactions to this. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: The video containing this claim has accumulated around 3,500 reactions and 1,000 comments since it was posted on Monday, March 29. This claim was emailed to Rappler for verification.
Complete details:

A video on the Facebook page “PH News TV” claims that former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is going to be imprisoned for stealing funds meant for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) rehabilitation.

The full title of the video reads: “JUST IN: NOYNOY AQUINO IPINAKUKULONG NA Matapos ang PAGNANAKAW sa YOLANDA FUNDS?| PNOY TINUTUGIS NA!” (Just in: Is Noynoy Aquino about to be arrested after stealing Yolanda funds? | PNoy is being tracked down!)

The video, which was posted on Monday, March 29, has accumulated 3,500 reactions and 1,000 comments since it was posted. It was emailed to Rappler for verification. 

This claim is false.

Aquino has not been ordered arrested and he is not being pursued. 

The content of the video doesn’t provide proof of Aquino being charged for any crime. Instead, it presents an article published on Thursday, March 25, titled, “Nograles leads back to back turnover of Yolanda housing units in Iloilo” by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the official public information arm of the government of the Philippines.

The PIA article reported on the distribution of free housing units in Iloilo on Wednesday, March 24. The article did not mention Aquino. 

There are no legitimate news reports about Aquino being arrested. “PH News TV” based its misleading video title on supposed netizens’ calls for cases to be filed against Aquino for allegedly stealing Yolanda funds. 

The Aquino administration was criticized for the slow recovery efforts in relation to the areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda, but there have been no cases filed or charges made against Aquino for “stealing” the funds.

In a report on the Tacloban city government published in July 2016, the Commission on Audit found irregularities in a variety of projects that were funded by the Yolanda rehabilitation budget. More recently, a COA report on Tacloban City published in November 2020 found that P20.29 million worth of assistance from national agencies for Yolanda rehabilitation had not yet been liquidated. 

Claims about the Yolanda funds have been fact-checked previously, not only by Rappler, but also by Vera Files. – Vernise Tantuco/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. 

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