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Busted: SC spokesperson clarifies SC NEVER CLEARED Marcos heirs of ill-gotten charges

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The subject involving the Marcoses, Martial Law and ill-gotten wealth is something that can easily trigger a heated debate between supporters and critics. The victims of the Marcos regime are still fighting for the justice that they deserve. This time, they are fighting attempts of revisionism and misinformation regarding the history of the country, especially to events during Marcos’ 21-year rule.

Just recently, an article about how the Supreme Court (SC) supposedly cleared the heirs of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, including his widow, Imelda, and their children former Senator Bongbong Marcos, Imee Marcos, and Irene Marcos-Araneta, from ill-gotten charges has surfaced on social media.

The article was picked up by a website called socialnewsph.com, which Meme Buster has tagged as one of those websites that have shared several fake and satirical articles.

It was also shared by Marcos fan page Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and Duterte fan page Duterte Parallel Organization – Tagumpay ng Pagbabago.

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According to the article, the SC “junked the ill-gotten cases against the heirs and in-laws” of the late dictator. It even highlighted that the cause for junking the case was “lack of evidence.” The SC decision also took the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Office of Solicitor General (OSG) for “bungling the job.”

The dismissed cases reportedly involved the alleged accumulation of P200 billion of ill-gotten wealth, their acquisition of IBC-13, BBC-2, and RPN-9, the use of De Soleil Apparel for dollar salting, and the acquisition of the Pantranco North Express Inc. bus company.

The decision was written by then Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on February 8, 2012 and Second Division Justices Martin Villarama Jr. Arturo Brion, Jose Portugal Perez and Bienvenido Reyes concurred with that decision. About six months later, former President Benigno Aquino III appointed Sereno as Chief Justice.

The said decision also questioned the process used by the OSG and PCFF in handling evidence, which failed to follow the “best evidence rule.

The justices’ decision read:

“Despite having the expansive resources of government, the members of the prosecution did not even bother to provide any reason whatsoever for their failure to present the original documents or the witnesses to support the government’s claims.

Even worse was presenting in evidence a photocopy of the TSN (transcript of stenographic notes) of the PCGG proceedings instead of the original, or a certified true copy of the original, which the prosecutors themselves should have had in their custody.

Such manner of legal practice deserves the reproof of this Court. We are constrained to call attention to this apparently serious failure to follow the most basic rule of law, given the special circumstances surrounding this case.”

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As to Marcos’ children, who were the defendants in the case, the SC decision said: “In fact, they were never mentioned by any of the witnesses presented. Neither did the documentary evidence pinpoint any specific involvement of the Marcos children.”

The SC also dismissed the charges against Irene’s husband, Gregorio Araneta III, for lack of evidence.

The article posted by socialnewsph went on to give more details about the case. After researching about relevant news covering the discussed decision by the SC, we found an article Manila Standard Today that said “SC clears FM heirs of ill-gotten charges” published on March 31, 2014. And from the first to the last paragraph, it is very similar to the one published by socialnewsph. It actually is the same article that was copied by socialnewsph.

Further research led us to an article published by Interaksyon on April 1, 2014 that claimed the opposite. It said that the SC actually NEVER CLEARED the Marcos heirs from charges of ill-gotten wealth. In fact, the opposite has happened since the SC even reinstated charges against two Imee and Bongbong.

SC spokesperson issued the clarification to correct the Manila Standard Today’s headline that said “SC clears FM heirs of ill-gotten charges.”

The SC decision in case G.R. No. 171701 (Republic of the Philippines, petitioner, versus Ma. Imelda ‘Imee’ Marcos-Manotoc, et al., respondents) may have said “it was not proven that respondents conspired in accumulating ill-gotten wealth,” but it also pointed out, “they may be in possession, ownership or control of such ill-gotten properties or the proceeds thereof as heirs of the Marcos couple.”

The decision added, making it clear that they did not dismiss the case against Marcos’ heirs: “Thus, their lack of participation in any illegal act does not remove the character of the property as ill-gotten and, therefore, as rightfully belonging to the State.”

The SC said that only the case before the Sandiganbayan can determine whether the Marcoses’ wealth are ill-gotten or not.

“It is only during the trial of Civil Case No. 0002 before the Sandiganbayan that there could be a determination of whether these properties are indeed ill-gotten or were legitimately acquired by respondents and their predecessors,” the decision said.

And yes, Imee, Bongbong, and Irene are definitely maintained as respondents in the case involving ill-gotten wealth.

“In sum, the Marcos siblings are maintained as respondents, because (1) the action pending before the Sandiganbayan is one that survives death, and, therefore, the rights to the estate must be duly protected; (2) they allegedly control, possess or own ill-gotten wealth, though their direct involvement in accumulating or acquiring such wealth may not have been proven,” the SC decision added.

An Inquirer article entitled “Supreme Court orders reinstatement of Marcos children in ill-gotten wealth case” published on February 21, 2012 also reported about the SC’s order to reinstate Bongbong, Imee and Irene as defendants in the P200-billion ill-gotten wealth case.

The Supreme Court did not clear the Marcos heirs from the ill-gotten wealth case filed against them in 1987. Instead, the SC decided to have the Marcos children reinstated as defendants in the case and the state prosecutors investigated for bungling the case.

Sources: (manilastandardtoday.com, interaksyon.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net)

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

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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: ( inquirer.net , news.mb.com.ph )

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

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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 phworkit.top.

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.

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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: ( newsinfo.inquirer.ne , thestandard.com.ph , cnnphilippines.com , rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com , businessmirror.com.ph )

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

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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 dailydu30.info 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.

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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: ( philstar.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net )

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