Busted: Archbishop Soc Villegas slams fake news about his New Year homily from Manila Times


Archbishop Socrates Villegas denied The Manila Times report about him criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte in his New Year homily.

The report, entitled “Duterte no protector of Filipinos – Archbishop Villegas,” claimed that Villegas lambasted Duterte for refusing to stop extrajudicial killings and for his attempts to revive the death penalty.

While The Manila Times got its details right about the December 31 mass being held at the Saint John Cathedral, they got the content of the archbishop’s homily wrong.

“This is fake news. This was not the homily at the Cathedral last December 31. Please be truthful. Do not use the church to spread lies!” Villegas said in a private message to a friend who reached out to Meme Buster.

Archbishop Soc Villegas New Year Homily

Manila Times even quoted a statement allegedly from Archbishop Villegas:

“If the law for the reimposition of death penalty will be approved by Congress, the President of the Philippines will kill people, mostly indigents who cannot afford to pay lawyers in their judicial fight specially those accused in drug pushing and other crimes.”

But Villegas also denied saying that statement.

“Nowhere was it said. Sources are fake,” he said.

Archbishop Soc Villegas New Year Homily

We also found this photo uploaded by the Facebook page “Ministry of Lectors of the Cathedral Parish of St. John the Evangelist.” It showed Archbishop Villegas’ New Year homily:

“Pagbabago sa tulong ng Diyos. Pagbabago simula sa sarili. Pagbabagong matapang magpakasakit.”

Archbishop Soc Villegas New Year Homily

Meme Buster also received an audio file of the Villegas’ New Year’s homily from a tipster. You can listen to him talk about change here:

This is not the first time The Manila Times writer Jaime G. Aquino had an issue with attributing statements to the sources he cited in his article, even if those sources did not make those statements themselves.

In August 2016, Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregorio E. Perez IV called out Aquino for his “erroneous and misleading” article titled “Pangasinan mayor orders Muslims out of Urdaneta,” which was posted on the news site on August 8, 2016.

In his press release published by the website spratlyschara.de, Perez, along with the other people cited in the article, denied being interviewed by Aquino on the issue. Perez also emphasized that he has never ordered and will never order a ban of Muslims in Urdaneta City, adding that he was consulting lawyers about his legal options that he could pursue against Aquino and The Manila Times.

We checked Aquino’s article about the Muslim ban in Urdaneta City, but it is already inaccessible.

Sources: (cbcpnews.commanilatimes.netfacebook.com/KabataangKatolikoAkofacebook.com/sjecp.lectorsspratlyschara.de)

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