Website posts misleading story linking Risa Hontiveros, LP to illegal drugs

Written by
University of the Philippines Journalism Department
Last modified
Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 01:27
Screenshot of misleading One Global post

A website with several suspect elements posted a misleading story linking to illegal drugs Sen. Risa Hontiveros and the Liberal Party (LP), which is fielding six Senate candidates in the May polls.

The  Feb. 4 post by website One Global bore the headline:

Ina-anak ni Risa Hontiveros na si Kenneth Dong, ‘middleman sa P6.4-billion shabu shipment’, arestado ng NBI (Risa Hontiveros’ godchild Kenneth Dong, ‘middleman in the P6.4-million shabu shipment’ arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation)

The post plagiarized a Remate report published the same day on the arrest of Kenneth Dong, a suspect in a billion-peso shabu shipment in 2017.

While the Remate report did not mention Hontiveros or LP, the One Global post added a commentary:

Hi, LP. May good news at bad news ako sa inyo. Good news muna. Congratulations, natupad na rin ang wish ninyo na may Chinese druglord na ma aresto sa 6.4 billion pesos drug smuggling issue ng Customs. Pero ito yung bad news. Yung inaanak ni Risa Hontiveros na si Kenneth Dong eh. Paano ba yan, using your own logic, The Godmother si Risa nang drug rings (Hi LP. I have good and bad news for you. Good news first. Congratulations, your wish for a Chinese drug lord to be arrested in the P6.4-billion drug Customs smuggling issue came true. But here’s the bad news. It was Risa Hontiveros’ godchild Kenneth Dong. Using your own logic, Risa Hontiveros is the godmother of drug rings)?

Hontiveros in a 2017 press statement confirmed she was godmother at Dong’s wedding, but with other senators, a detail One Global failed to include:

Noong 2013, ako, kasama ng mga kapwa ko senador gaya nina Senators Migz Zubiri, Kiko Pangilinan at Ralph Recto, ay naimbitahan mag-ninong at ninang sa kanyang kasal. Kaya't pare-pareho kaming nagulat ng mabanggit ang kanyang pangalan sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing (In 2013, I and fellow senators Migz Zubiri, Kiko Pangilinan and Ralph Recto were invited to be godfathers and godmother at [Dong’s] wedding. So we were all surprised when his name was mentioned in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing).

Another suspect element: the One Global post purports to have been written by “Ana Jane Luna,” a supposed photo of whom appears next to the byline.

A reverse search of the photo yields a for-sale stock image of a young lady on sites like iStock by Getty Images, Shutterstock and Dreamstime.

LP has six senatorial candidates in the May elections: Gary Alejano, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Mar Roxas and Erin Tañada.

Hontiveros, elected senator in 2016, serves until 2022.

The One Global post was shared by Facebook pages Favradio Global, Bayang Pilipinas, WE SUPPORT PDU30 ADMINISTRATION and WE SUPPORT BONGBONG MARCOS, and others also bearing the names of Duterte or Marcos.

Crowdtangle data show these pages have some 1.7 million followers.

Crowdtangle analytics

References

Commission on Elections. (2019). Certified List of Candidates: National: Senator. Retrieved from http://comelec.gov.ph/php-tpls-attachments/2019NLE/ListsOfCandidates/CertifiedListofCandidates/NATIONAL/SENATORS.pdf

Dreamstime. (2011, February 13). Beautiful, cheerful and smiling young lady in fashion isolated on white background. Retrieved from https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-beautiful-girl-image19756965

iStock by Getty Images. (2011, Aug. 10). Beautiful Young Lady. Retrieved from https://www./photo/beautiful-young-lady-gm120928641-16769949

Remate. (2019, February 4).Kenneth Dong, ‘middleman sa P6.4-billion shabu shipment’, arestado ng NBI. Retrieved from https://remate.ph/2019/02/04/kenneth-dong-middleman-sa-p6-4-billion-shabu-shipment-arestado-ng-nbi/

Senate of the Philippines. (2017, August 9). Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Kenneth Dong. Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2017/0809_hontiveros2.asp

Shutterstock. (n.d.). Closeup of a beautiful, cheerful and smiling young lady in fashion isolated on white background. Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/closeup-beautiful-cheerful-smiling-young-lady-78495424

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