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Busted: Was Sen. Hontiveros’ cousin arrested over online pyramid scam? It’s a hoax!

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Senator Risa Hontiveros has once said that she is a favorite among fake news sites, given how many fictional stories have been written about her. And this time, the most recent hoax about her allegedly involved her cousin, who was arrested for conducting an online pyramid scam.

The said story has been shared by Duterte fan pages on Facebook, even earning almost 2,200 shares when it was posted by “President Duterte Supporters” and over 1,600 shares after it was shared by “Rodrigo Duterte ‘Disisais.’”

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It was also shared by other Duterte fan pages, such as “Duterte Phenomenon” and “Byaheng Duterte.”

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The story actually came from the noted fake news site Okd2.com, although it was picked up by blogs such as pinoythinking.online, pinoyviralnews.com, and duterteworld.com.

Hontiveros cousin arrested

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Hontiveros’ cousin, a certain Dioscoro Hontiveros and his wife, Jasmin Pasco Hontiveros, were nabbed for collecting over 54 million pesos in an online pyramid scam, the story said. The couple was said to have been in NBI’s wanted list for more than six months until their arrest in Santiago City, Isabela. The Hontiveros couple was alleged to have collected P20,000 to P60,000 per victim while promising a 10% return on investment per week. The scam started in September 2016 but they disappeared a month later, which led the victims to go to the Quezon City Police in November 2016. There were 300 victims, who gave the couple P54 million.

Six of their victims positively identified Dioscoro and his wife as the scammers, which is why they are now charged with multiple counts of syndicated estafa.

Okd2.com described Dioscoro as Senator Hontiveros’ first cousin, who used to be employed at the Farmer’s Market in Cubao before he started the scam. He was also said to have been a labor leader and was tagged in robbery cases from 2010 to 2014.

However, Okd2.com has proved once again to be a good fake storyteller.

We could not find any reports about a certain Dioscoro Hontiveros involved in a pyramid scam that victimized 300 people. It was made up by the fake news site!

Unfortunately, the hoax seemed to have worked, based on the angry comments against Hontiveros.

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Okd2.com seemed to have paid special attention to Hontiveros, given how many fake stories it has written about the senator. These include the hoaxes about how Hontiveros sought a salary increase for rallyists, went on a hunger strike to protest Marcos’ hero’s burial, tried to remove Marcos’ name from Philippine history books, and wanted to raise senior citizens’ age qualification to 65 years old.

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Busted

Busted: Robredo nagbakasyon sa ibang bansa at tinakasan si Marcos? It’s a fake story!

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Vice President Leni Robredo allegedly left the Philippines to go on vacation abroad and escape from her rival, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the middle of the VP vote recount.

With a title that says “Leni Robredo Nagbakasyon Sa Ibang Bansa! Tina-kasan Si BBM! Panoorin,” the story has riled people up. They believed that Robredo really left the country to leave Marcos and the electoral protest behind.

The story was carried by sites such as du30express.site, trending1.altervista.org, and dailypinoy2018.blogspot.com, before it was shared by Facebook pages such as “Action ni Duterte,” “Duterte for OFW,” “President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte  for New Philippines,” and Duterte Defenders” starting on April 6.


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However, the links to the story showed a 14-minute long YouTube video of political analyst and De La Salle professor Antonio Contreras talking about the alleged wet ballots discovered during the recount. He did mention about how Robredo was in another country, while her lawyer Romulo Macalintal was left behind to explain the wet ballots allegedly found during the recount. Contreras said that the explanation about the condition of the ballots should come from the Comelec or those responsible of maintaining the ballot boxes.

Unlike what the title claimed about how Robredo left the country to escape from Marcos, she actually went to London to speak at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) about “Overcoming Poverty in the Philippines and the Role of Politics in Economic Growth,” based on the Facebook post her official page made on April 7.

It was an honor to speak at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where I was invited to give a…

Posted by VP Leni Robredo on Saturday, April 7, 2018

Robredo went to London not to go on a vacation but to give a talk related to what the Office of the Vice President has been doing. And she certainly did not go to the UK to escape Marcos. She even continued with the 48th episode of the BISErbisyong Leni radio show, where she and her co-host Ely Saludar talked to #IstoryaNgPagasa champions in the UK.

All of these meant that Robredo visited Robredo for work-related engagements, not to go on a break and escape from Marcos during the VP vote recount. The story is fake!

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Busted: ‘Napatunayan na si BBM ang sinuportahan ng taumbayan’? BBM 100% winner as VP? Fake news!

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Amid the vice presidential vote recount, some Facebook pages have been posting articles with titles and feature images claiming that former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has won as VP.

The story, as picked up by several blogs, has a title that says, “Napatunayan Na Sa Wakas Na Si BBM Ang Sinuportahan Ng Taumbayan! Panoorin.” The feature image also shows Marcos surrounded by his supporters with a text that says “BBM 100 Percent Winner Pagka Bise.”

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Both the title and the text on the image would instantly tell you that Marcos has already been declared as the winner in the recount.

The story from du30scoopz.info that was shared by the Facebook page “Pilipinas Duterte Global Supporters 360” even got shared over 900 times since it was posted on April 3.

The same story was also picked up by blogs such as dailyviralhub.altervista.org, trending1.altervista.org, pinoypolitics.altervista.org, dutertedefenders.net, and parasabayan.xyz, among others. It was shared either by Facebook pages such as “Duterte for OFW,” “Duterte Astig,” “PRRD Defender,” and “Duterte Para sa Bayan” or by individual users to several Facebook groups, such as “Imee Marcos for Senator Movement.”

And based on the comments on these posts, it seemed that while some netizens realized that these claims are not true about Marcos being the winning VP, others were asking why he has not been proclaimed as the VP until now.

However, the VP vote recount is still ongoing since it started on April 2, so we’re wondering where the makers of hte graphics and story got the idea that Marcos has emerged as the winner. These claims are clearly fake and were meant to mislead people.

If you click on the article on du30scoopz.info, you will only find a 404 error on the page.

We did find a 10-minute YouTube video when we clicked on pinoypolitics.altervista.org. However, the video just showed Marcos, his wife, and sister Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos being greeted by their supporters. By the way the title was framed, did they mean that the Marcos supporters comprise the “taumbayan” that they mentioned? That is not really the case, which makes this story a definite fake one.

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Busted

Busted: 7800 na patay nakalistang bumoto kay Robredo sa Bacolod? Story came from a noted fake news site!

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A certain Patricia Laurel shared on Facebook on April 6 a few screenshots of an article claiming that Bacolod election officials found 7,800 dead people who were listed as voters for Vice President Leni Robredo.

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She captioned it, “Mga patay bumoto kay Leni.” As of writing, her post has already gained over 4,500 shares, almost 500 reactions, and over 100 comments.

Angry netizens ended up calling Robredo names.

The post was also shared by veteran writer and The Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao. His post has since then been shared close to 200 times.

Facebook page Showbiz Government also shared the same post by Laurel and has managed to gain over 800 shares.

 

However, MemeBuster later found out that the story in the now viral screenshots accusing that over 7,000 dead  people voted for Robredo came from the site philrepublicnews.com and was published in December 2017.

But we could not verify the claims in the story. Even the direct quotes found in the story were also carried by dubious sites.

We also found out that this is the same fake story that trended back in January, but it has a different title then, “Bicol Election Officials Found 8,654 Dead Folks Who Voted for Robredo,” as carried by the fake news site bacolod.altervista.org.

Even philrepublicnews.com has carried several fake stories before that we already debunked, such as how Senator Risa Hontiveros allegedly defended the CPP-NPA during a joint session on the extension of martial law, Nostradamus predicted President Rodrigo Duterte’s victory, and the late Playboy founder Hugh Heffner donated $5 million to Duterte’s drug war.

The site also carried the fake stories about Hontiveros filing a bill to raise the minimum age of senior citizenship to 65 from 60 and the lady senator helping the girl who hit a taxi driver in a viral video.

Tiglao once accused the Inquirer of using a fake photo of the “Start the Healing” rally on EDSA in NOvember 2017, but when he got confronted about it, deleted the post, but refused to apologize for his mistake.

The page Showbiz Government has also shared several hoaxes in the past, including those about unpaid EDSA protesters mobbing the Liberal Party office, an Oxford law professor saying the ICC cannot prosecute Duterte because of his high approval ratings, Senators Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan holding hands while walking, and more.

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