MISLEADING: VACC filed complaints vs Hontiveros for 'stealing PhilHealth funds'

The charges filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption against Senator Hontiveros are unrelated to any PhilHealth issues but concern the Kian delos Santos case

Rappler.com

Published: 6:23 PM August 22, 2019

Updated: 6:23 PM August 22, 2019

Claim: The website balitangupdates.blogspot.com claimed in an article that Senator Risa Hontiveros supposedly faces multiple cases filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).

The title of the blog post says, "Finally! Sinampahan ng patong-patong na kaso si Sen. Risa Hontiveros at posibleng makukulong (Finally! Multiple cases lodged against Senator Risa Hontiveros who could be possibly imprisoned)."

An edited News5 video was also embedded in the article which contained reports about the filing of cases. However, the content of the video does not support the description in the blog.

In the 8-minute video, two different clips were merged showing VACC lawyer Jacinto “Jing” Paras filing obstruction of justice, wiretapping, and kidnapping versus Hontiveros in the first part. The second half featured former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre who was complaining about the senator's alleged violation of the anti-wiretapping law. 

Below the video, the blog description says: “Kinasuhan ng patong-patong na kaso ng VACC si Risa Hontiveros dahil sa pagnanakaw sa pondo ng PhilHealth (VACC filed multiple cases against Risa Hontiveros for stealing PhilHealth funds)."

The claim was spotted on social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. The blog has been shared by 38 Facebook pages accumulating total interactions of over 9,000. Some of the pages which shared the claim are Sara Duterte for President 2022 Elections, Duterte Para sa Bayan, and President Rody Duterte Facebook Army.

Rating: MISLEADING

The facts: The charges filed by the VACC against Hontiveros were not related to any PhilHealth issues but had to do with the Kian delos Santos case. (READ: Paras prepare slew of cases vs Hontiveros)

In September 2017, Paras accused the senator of kidnapping, failure to return a minor, and inducing a minor to abandon his home when she placed under her custody minor witnesses in the killing of Delos Santos. (READ: Jing Paras files kidnapping complaint vs Hontiveros for taking Kian witnesses)

On October 2, 2017, Aguirre also filed wiretapping raps against the senator. The complaint involving the anti-wiretapping law also came after Hontiveros publicized in a privilege speech a photo of Aguirre's purported exchange of text messages with a certain "Cong Jing," whom the senator believed to be Paras. The said photo was taken by a photojournalist during a Senate hearing on the Delos Santos case. (READ: Hontiveros liable for wiretapping, says VACC's Jing Paras)

This is the third time that Rappler has spotted a claim which linked Hontiveros with supposed PhilHealth controversies. In August 2018, the claim saying that the Commission on Audit (COA) supposedly ordered the senator to return the agency's P163.85 million in bonuses was proven to be "mixed."

Meanwhile, the website balitangupdates.blogspot.com has a disclaimer that says, “This site/blog shall not be responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this website or by any technical or human error which may occur.” – Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.