Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Zarate, Elago arrested during Labor Day protests

FALSE: Zarate, Elago arrested during Labor Day protests
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate and Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago participated in the Mayo Uno protest in Welcome Rotonda, Quezon City, but they were not arrested
At a glance
  • Claim: Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate and Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago were arrested for participating in Labor Day protests on May 1 and violating Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) protocols. 
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Zarate and Elago participated in the Mayo Uno protest in Welcome Rotonda, Quezon City, but they were not arrested. However, protest organizers were arrested in Cebu City and Zambales. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: Verified YouTube channel “Showbiz Fanaticz” posted a video on May 2 with this claim, and the video has reached over 9,276 views and 306 comments as of writing. The claim was posted on the Facebook group Fact-checking in the Philippines for verification.
Complete details

A video posted on May 2 by YouTube channel “Showbiz Fanaticz” falsely claimed that Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate and Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago were arrested for participating in the May 1 Labor Day protests and violating protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The full title of the video reads: “LAGOT! ZARATE ELAGO at mga PASIMUNO ng MAYO UNO kilos PROTESTA, PINAAARESTO dahil LUMABAG sa IATF!” (You’re in trouble! Zarate, Elago and organizers of the May 1 protests, arrested for violating the IATF [protocols]!)

The video featured a clip of an unnamed protester speaking at the rally, and flashed the following text: “Mga dumalo sa welga mananagot sa paglabag sa IATF protocol | Zarate, Elago atbp. damay!” (Those who participated in the strike to be held responsible for violating IATF protocols | Zarate, Elago, etc. included!)

The channel has been fact-checked by Rappler multiple times. As of writing, this particular video has reached over 9,276 views and 306 comments. The claim was posted on the Facebook group “Fact-checking in the Philippines” for verification.

This claim is false. 

On May 1, various workers’ groups and activists organized Labor Day rallies in Metro Manila and throughout the country. According to Elago’s official Twitter account, she promoted and participated in the Mayo Uno mobilization at Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City. Based on Zarate’s official Twitter account, he participated in the same rally. 

The Mayo Uno mobilization was organized to lobby Congress to hold a special session to approve the proposals for increased financial support for workers, especially those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 

Elago and Zarate were not arrested and, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Labor Day activities “culminated peacefully and orderly.” The lawmakers were not featured at all in the video containing the claim.

However, 34 protesters in Cebu City and 11 youth activists in Zambales were arrested for violating social distancing rules during their mobilizations.

Click the links below to read more about claims from “Showbiz Fanaticz” that we’ve debunked:

– Sofia Guanzon/Rappler.com

Sofia Guanzon is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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.