FALSE: 6 senators refuse to give coronavirus aid

Claim: Senators Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Cynthia Villar, and Ralph Recto refused to give aid to the Philippines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook page Yellow Army stitched the photos of the 6 senators in one graphic and added a statement below it that read: “Mga senador na tumangging magbigay tulong sa buong Pilipinas sa kasagsagan ng COVID-19 (The senators who refused to give aid to the Philippines amid COVID-19).”

The Facebook page posted the graphic on April 23. As of writing, it had over 10,000 shares, 1,000 reactions, and 729 comments. Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool, flagged the post for verification.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Senators, as part of Congress, are tasked to craft laws and legislate them. The senators mentioned in the graphic have responded to the coronavirus crisis by doing so. Some of them have also publicly shared that they provided aid to frontliners and communities affected by the enhanced community quarantine. 

On March 23, all senators, except Hontiveros, voted in favor of the passing of Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which grants President Rodrigo Duterte 30 special powers to address the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country. Hontiveros argued that the law is prone to abuse.

Still, Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 1441 or the Balik Trabahong Ligtas Act on April 30, which seeks to provide mandatory life and additional health insurance for all workers during health emergencies.

Poe and Villar, too, have initiated projects to distribute medical supplies and personal protective equipment to various hospitals in the country. Poe, Villar, and Hontiveros also donated food supplies to health workers and vulnerable families.

Pangilinan also started an initiative to link farmers with local government units and non-governmental organizations to aid in relief operations.

As of Monday, May 4, a total of 9,485 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Philippines. Of this, 623 died and 1,315 recovered. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

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