Busted: Hontiveros did not call Maute as ‘epitome of courage and resilience’ or source of inspiration! Fake meme!

Senator Risa Hontiveros allegedly praised the Maute terror group for being the “epitome of courage and resilience” and for “doing what they think is right,” based on a meme being shared thousands of times over on Facebook.
On June 7, Facebook page Pork Ng Ina Mo uploaded a meme bearing Hontiveros face and this alleged statement from her:

what Maute Group are doing is not rebellion I believe they are only doing what they think is right, This people has a belief, a conviction that pushed them to move forward. Maaring pagod na sila sa mga nangyayari sa Lipunan at least they have the motivation. We should be inspired of what they are doing. They are the epitome of courage and resilience.”

The page even captioned it, “Putcha. Kala ko komunista siya pero bakit mukha siyang terorista? Sino bang bobotanteng bumoto dito?”

Senator Risa Hontiveros

Facebook user Joyce Tonido Legaspi also shared the meme and her post gained almost 4,000 shares.

Senator Risa Hontiveros

However, Hontiveros is not new to being the subject of fake news and memes. She responded to the spread of such false statement attributed to her via her official Facebook page.
On June 8, Hontiveros’ camp posted this statement calling out the fake meme and condemning Maute group’s “act of terrorism:”

[A] FAKE NEWS ALERT. While the siege in Marawi is ongoing, some elements still choose to manufacture fake news and attribute malicious quotes to those who oppose the Martial Law in Mindanao.

The Maute group’s siege in Marawi is an act of terrorism. Senator Risa Hontiveros condemns all acts of terror and is fervent in pursuing peace.

Hindi natutulungan ng fake news ang ating mga kababayan ngayon. Huwag po tayong ma-fall sa mga fake news: paaasahin lang tayo, hindi naman pala totoo. #fakezone

She also addressed the fake meme via her Twitter account.

In a forum at the De La Salle University-Manila, Hontiveros discussed the “fake news campaign” against her.

“Yesterday, I was again the target of a vicious fake news campaign wherein I was depicted to be very supportive of the Maute group. Nothing is farther from the truth,” she said.

The senator stressed that the “Maute group is a terrorist group” and described them as an “enemy of peace and development, particularly the people of Mindanao.”

“What they did to Marawi is a terrorist act that must be condemned by all,” Hontiveros added.

She also expressed trust in the government troops.

“I have full trust in our [AFP] that they will defeat these terrorists. We will hold the Maute terrorists accountable. We will do it without losing our sense of humanity and love for democracy,” she added.

While Hontiveros might have already debunked the fake meme, the damage has been done. The netizens definitely took the meme to be true and are expressing their negative reactions against the senator on social media.

Fortunately, there are still others who called out the pages sharing the fake meme.

Hontiveros was also subject of other fake stories, such as her filing a bill color coding MRT and LRT passengers, another bill seeking to increase the salaries of rallyists, and yet another one prohibiting the exposure of tattoos in public. She was earlier the subject of ‘chismis’ when a photo of her and Senator Kiko Pangilinan allegedly holding hands was circulated in public. Even Pangilinan’s wife, actress Sharon Cuneta, called the photo fake.

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