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Busted: PH’s most wanted militant Isnilon Hapilon is not a UP graduate



The Marawi City conflict has been all over the news and the name of one of the country’s most wanted militant, Isnilon Hapilon, has come up a number of times. He was initially reported to be a graduate of the University of the Philippines with an engineering degree. In fact, articles about this tidbit of news have gone viral on Facebook, gaining thousands of shares.

Isnilon Hapilon is not a UP graduate

However, the University of the Philippines Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs said that they could not find any official record of Hapilon as a student or alumnus.

“Upon verification with the official records of the Office of the University Registrar and the Office of Alumni Affairs, the University of the Philippines can find no record of a former student or alumnus by the name of Isnilon Hapilon,” the statement from the UP VP for public affairs Jose Y. Dalisay read.

“This clarification is being made in light of recent news reports identifying Mr. Hapilon as a UP graduate,” it added.

Based on the records obtained from Basilan National High School, Inquirer reported that Hapilon is a high school dropout.


Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the ARMM obtained a copy of Hapilon’s Secondary Student’s Permanent Record following reports, citingthe Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the alleged source, that the bandit leader was a UP engineering graduate.

Hataman said, “It’s not true. I wonder where the US-based intelligence operatives got those information.”

Tahira Ismael, a former mayor of Lantawan and Hapilon’s classmate in madrasah (Islamic school) said that he was shocked by social media articles about Hapilon going to UP.

“He performed poorly in academics. Even in Quran reading, trying hard. He found it hard to pronounce Quran in one of the Quran-reading contest in our younger days,” Ismael told the Inquirer in an interview, adding that Hapilon dropped out of high school, having stopped in his second year.

Elementary school records showed that Hapilon got 78 in sixth grade and had many cases of tardiness and absences, which the transcript noted to be because he had to “run errands.”

Rappler reported that he started elementary school in 1978 when he was 10 years old, which is noted to be normal in conflict areas. His best grades were Math, Music and Arts, P.E./Scouting, Pilipino, and Work Education. He was already 17 years old when he enrolled in high school.

After dropping out of high school, Hataman said that Hapilon was spotted joining the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and trained at Camp Omar in Sumipsip under Commander Talib Congo in 1985. The year after, he left Basilan for Sulu to join MNLF’s Commander Ustadz Bashiri. He studied Arabic and madrasah again. In 1992, he returned to his hometown and was chosen spokesperson of Barahama Sali, whose group took several hostages. Sali left Basilan in 1994 in the midst of intensified military offensive.

Hapilon joined Abu Sayaff under leader Abdurajak Janjalani in Sampinit, stopped his Arabic and madrasah training, and looked up to Janjalani as his Arabic and religious adviser.

According to Inquirer’s profile of Hapilon, the militant leader’s father, Hapilon Totoni, was an Islamic priest or village imam, while his mother, Harija Hak, was a housewife. He has five siblings.

Former Lantawan mayor Ismael said that the Hapilons and even their distant relatives left Basilan in 2000 after the government’s war against the Abu Sayyaf.

Upon checking FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, their profile of Hapilon did include the claim that the militant leader graduated from UP School of Engineering.

Isnilon Hapilon is not a UP graduate

Sources: ( , , )



Busted: Robredo wants to add years to the K-to-12 program? It’s fake news!



Vice President Leni Robredo’s office released a statement debunking social media posts claiming that she wants to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program. This came after several posts started circulating about how Robredo allegedly said that she wanted to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program, angering netizens.

A certain tweet on March 1, 2020 showed the vice president’s photo along with these words: “Kulang ang K to 12 education system natin. Kelangan apat na taon sa Junior HS at apat na taon sa Senior HS.”

In January 17, the same image shared to the Facebook page “Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters” also got shared over 6,000 times and triggered negative comments among the netizens.

Many social media users have lambasted Robredo over the said meme.

The unwarranted bashing and adverse reactions prompted her office to release an official statement debunking this false claim.

“Hindi totoong pinadadagdagan ni VP Leni Robredo ang mga taon sa K-to-12 program,” said the vice president’s office in a statement.

“Suportado ng Bise Presidente kung sakaling magkaroon ng review ng nasabing programa. Binibigyang-diin niya na kailangang siguraduhin na may tamang facilities at equipment ang mga specialized tracks, para mas maging madali ang pagtuturo nito at matiyak ang kahandaang makapagtrabaho ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang pagtatapos,” it added.

In October 2019, Robredo did say that she was alright with reviewing how the K-to-12 program to determine how it could be further improved.

“Tumutugon rin ang kaniyang Tanggapan, kasama ang #AngatBuhay partners nito, sa pangangailangan ng tamang kagamitan. Nakapagbigay na ng kaukulang tools at equipment sa mga mahihirap na paaralan, gaya sa Mulanay sa Quezon, Panglao sa Bohol, at Sta. Maria sa Romblon,” the statement further said.

This is not the first time Robredo has been a victim of fake news. There were false claims, misleading headlines, and edited images or captions about how former Senator Bongbong Marcos has already won over Robredo, how she met former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, or how her portrait was sold on eBay, something that a popular blogger apologized for.

Sources: ( , )

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Busted: Walang kasalanan ang Tulfo brothers ayon sa imbestigasyon? It’s a misleading headline!



An article has claimed that an investigation has found the Tulfo brothers to be not guilty. It says, “Lumabas Sa Imbestigasyon Na Walang Kasalanan Ang Tulfo Brothers,” as published by the website

The story was even shared by Facebook pages “Ferdinand Emmanual Edralin Marcos” and “Rody Duterte MEDIA.”

However, the article merely contained a 10-minute YouTube video, which was a mix several video clips of different reports, some parts of which touched on the issues involving the P60 million tourism ads that aired on the PTV program of Teo’s brothers, the Tulfos.

One of the video clips showed that the CNN Philippines reported on why nepotism is considered corruption and abused of authority in the case of now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda and how her husband, Roberto Teo, served as the board member of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). But Roberto was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III and has tendered his resignation from TIEZA effective June 30, 2018.


Another video clip showing a CNN Philippines report of a Malacañang press briefing, where a reporter asked Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque if Communications Secretary Martin Andanar would be among those investigated in the controversial placement of P60 million worth of tourism ads on the program of the Tulfos, who are Teo’s brothers, leading people to raise the issue of conflict of interest. As the PCOO chief, he also supervises the state-run PTV-4, where the Tulfos’ programs are a blocktimer.

Asked by yet another reporter what President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment was on the issue with the DOT and the Tulfos, Roque said that he did not know then because he had not talked to the President for a while and the investigation conducted by the Office of the President was ongoing then.

The headline used in the video is misleading. It meant to make people think that the Tulfo brothers have been cleared from the issue involving them with the controversial P60-million tourism ad deal.

However, reports showed that even after Teo resigned from her post on May 7, the Ombudsman will still continue with the probe into the scandal. The body requested from the Commission on Audit (COA) a copy of its DOT report involving the controversial P60-million worth of payments for ads aired on PTV on May 8. The investigation is still ongoing, which meant that they it has not yet cleared the Tulfos.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also said to be investigating the scandal to determine the officials at fault at the DOT, People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI), and the PCOO.

Ramon Tulfo, an Inquirer columnist, came out in the defense of his sister Teo and blamed  his younger brother Ben Tulfo for the controversy.

Party-list group Akbayan, however, said it was not enough for Teo to step down from her post. They wanted her to be prosecuted.

“The simple firing or resignation of corrupt officials will not put a stop to corruption in the government if this is not followed by swift prosecution and conviction,” the group said in a statement.

Akbayan also challenged President Duterte to file cases against Ben and Erwin Tulfo over the controversial ad transaction. Ben owns Bitag Media, which produced the PTV show “Kilos Pronto,” the program where the DOT ads were aired. His brother, Erwin, co-hosts the show with him.

Sources: ( , , , , , )


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Busted: Legarda sinumbatan si Robredo na mag-resign bago pa lumabas ang resulta na panalo si Marcos? Misleading headline!



Senator Loren Legarda allegedly confronted Vice President Leni Robredo and asked her to resign before the results would show former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the winner.

The video was posted by blog on May 15, 2018. The vice presidential vote recount is still ongoing, so the headline must have been referring to the result of the recount. It also made it seem as though Legarda is telling Robredo that she is certain that Marcos would emerge as the winner in the recount.

The YouTube video is 20-minute long and Legarda’s face was immediately shown at the beginning of the video. However, if you finish watching it, you’d know immediately that the video was not taken recently. In fact, it showed a portion of the budget hearing for 2017 for the Office of the Vice President. Further research showed that the hearing was conducted in front of the Senate panel on August 22, 2017 and it lasted less than an hour before it was approved. Robredo herself attended the budget hearing to present an overview of the OVP’s plans for 2018.

Legarda served as the Senate panel’s chair.

During the hearing, Robredo reported how the OVP spent its funds, mainly for poverty alleviation.


The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that following the presentation on the fund allocation of the OVP, Legarda asked Robredo to send them a yearlong report on the needs of the sectors and areas that the OVP has reached while promising to help out on fulfilling those needs.

So unlike what the headline claimed, Legarda did not tell Robredo to resign from her VP post to make way for Marcos’ imminent victory. The headline is misleading and is merely playing with people’s emotions and gullibility.

However, Facebook page “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters” still shared it without verifying the headline’s claims.

There have been several fake stories involving Marcos and Robredo and the VP vote recount that we have busted. We debunked a misleading headline claiming that Marcos has already won, that Marcos won by 1,786 votes over Robredo, that Robredo would perform her tasks as VP until Marcos takes over, and that Marcos will replace Robredo.

Sources: ( )


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