COVID-19 Fact Checks

FALSE: Pacquiao quote calls for Duque to resign after March 22, 2021

Rappler
FALSE: Pacquiao quote calls for Duque to resign after March 22, 2021
(UPDATED) Senator Manny Pacquiao didn't say the quote attributed to him, which calls for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to resign following the announcement of 8,019 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 22
At a glance:
  • Claim: Senator Manny Pacquiao called for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to resign after the Philippines recorded 8,019 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 22. 
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Pacquiao did not say the quote attributed to him on or immediately after March 22. He did, however, urge President Rodrigo Duterte to replace Duque in December 2020. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: This post on Facebook has accumulated 8,500 reactions, 711 comments, and 1,800 shares since it was posted on March 22. It was emailed to Rappler for verification. 

Editor’s note: The “Peoples Champ” Facebook page has since clarified in the comments of their post that the link to the Inquirer.net article was meant to reflect the spirit of Senator Manny Pacquiao’s call for Health Secretary Duque to resign. They did not intend for it to be taken as a source for the quote. Senator Manny Pacquiao’s office has since verified that he gave the “Peoples Champ” Facebook page this quote.

Complete details:

According to a quote card on Facebook, Senator Manny Pacquiao supposedly called for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to resign after the Philippines recorded 8,019 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 22. 

The full quote in the post reads: “Ilan pa ba ang kailangang mamatay para matauhan ka? Ilan pa ang kailangang mawalan ng kabuhayan para gawin ninyo ang tama? Ibigay mo na sa mas nakakaalam ang trabaho mo. Maawa ka naman sa Bayan mo. Inuulit ko, I am calling for Sec. Duque to RESIGN!”

(How many more need to die before you wake up? How many more need to lose their livelihood before you do the right thing? Give your job to someone who knows how to do it better. Take pity on your countrymen. I repeat, I am calling for Secretary Duque to resign!)

This post on Facebook by the page “Peoples Champ” has accumulated 8,500 reactions, 711 comments, and 1,800 shares since it was posted on March 22. It was emailed to Rappler for verification. 

This claim is false.

Pacquiao did not say the quote attributed to him on or after March 22. 

As of Tuesday, March 30, googling the quote he supposedly said only returns this post on “Peoples Champ” as an exact match. Limiting the search results to March 21 to March 30 further limits the number of search results and did not return any official news reports or interviews wherein Pacquiao said this. 

The Facebook page posted a link in the comments to an Inquirer.net article. However, the article was published on December 21, 2020, and did not include the quote in the Facebook post. 

The Inquirer.net article quotes from Pacquiao’s interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart,” wherein he urged President Rodrigo Duterte to replace Duque in order to compare Duque’s performance with his possible replacements. He said this in relation to the government’s vaccination program, not to an increase in cases.

Pacquiao was among the 14 senators who urged Duque to resign in April 2020 over his “failure of leadership” in the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Health recorded 8,019 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 22, the Philippines’ highest single-day tally as of that date. After that, the highest single-day tally of new confirmed cases since the pandemic started was recorded at 10,016 on March 29. – Vernise Tantuco/Rappler.com

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