Residents of a Mindanao barangay did not attack party-list representatives Sarah Elago and Carlos Zarate recently at a Lumad school as a YouTube video falsely claims. The two lawmakers weren’t even at the school when it was being torn down.
In fact, Elago and Zarate are nowhere shown in the 22-minute video posted June 12 on the Robin Sweet Showbiz channel, whose headline, thumbnail and opening spiel misreported that the lawmakers were attacked at a Lumad school it tagged as a recruitment base of the communist movement in Davao.
The video also misstated that the school was in Davao. It is in Bukidnon.
The headline of Robin Sweet Showbiz’s video reads:
ELAGO, ZARATE SINUGOD SA RECRUITMENT BASE SA DAVAO? MGA MAGULANG WINASAK ANG STRUCTURE (Elago, Zarate attacked at the recruitment base in Davao? Parents demolish structure)!
The text on the thumbnail reads:
SARAH ELAGO AT CARLOS ZARATE SINUGOD SA KANILANG RECRUITMENT SCHOOL/STRUCTURE SA DAVAO!
MGA HAYOP KAYO!
WINASAK ANG SCHOOL OF RECRUITMENT
MGA MAGULANG NG KABATAAN SUMUGOD AT GALIT NA GALIT WINASAK ANG SCHOOL OF RECRUITMENT UPANG DI NA MAGAMIT
(Sarah Elago and Carlos Zapate were attacked at their recruitment school/structure in Davao!
Recruitment school was demolished
Parents rushed (to the place) and furiously destroyed the school of recruitment so it can no longer be used)!
A narration reiterating the allegation opens the video.
However, the original video reporting the demolition of the school contained no such claim.
Posted on Facebook on June 5 by RVP Nhoy Porras, who identified himself as a former anchor/reporter at Infinite Radio Koronadal, the live video was accompanied by the caption:
USA ka skwelahan nga gituohan iya sa NPA sa brgy Sagundanun (sic) Bukidnon gi guba sa mga residente (A school believed to belong to the NPA in Barangay Sagundanun [sic], Bukidnon was destroyed by residents)
A shorter video uploaded also on June 5 by Dondon Sultan Balacanan, a reporter for 97.5 Brigada News FM-Kidapawan, said the school in Kitaotao town was run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services and was demolished by residents of barangays Sagundanon and Cabanlantian.
The caption reads:
Eskwelahan sa gikatahong walhong grupo nga Mindanao Interfaith Services Incorporated, gidomolish sa katwahan sa Barangay Sagundanon ug Barangay Cabalantian Kitao-tao Bukidnon (Reported left-leaning school of Mindanao Interfaith Services Incorporated demolished by the people of barangay Sagundanon and barangay Cabalantian Kitao-tao Bukidnon)
Elago and Zarate, including the false claim that residents attacked them, were not mentioned in Balacanan’s report.
The two lawmakers said in separate interviews they were not at the school when it was being demolished.
Elago of the Kabataan party-list group added she has not been to the place.
Hindi pa po ako nakakapunta sa lugar na ito (I have never been to this place).
Zarate of Bayan Muna said:
I was not around when that Lumad school was destroyed. Though I was informed that it was one of those Lumad schools in Bukidnon previously run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (MISFI)
The 72nd Infantry Battalion said the respective sangguniang barangay and tribal council of barangays Sagundanon and Cabalantian had adopted a resolution providing for the demolition of the school which, it said, aimed to “eradicate the false teachings and ideologies imparted by the CTGs (communist terrorist groups) to the residents, especially to the youth.”
Save Our Schools Network, however, reported that residents were forced to participate in the demolition to avoid charges and arrest.
National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson and Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy said on June 7 the task force wants the progressive Makabayan bloc, whose members include Elago and Zapate, out of Congress, saying they are high-ranking members of the communist movement and represent the ideas of terrorist organizations.
As of writing, the YouTube video has garnered 68,962 views and about 2,400 likes.
Robin Sweet Showbiz was created on July 25, 2017. It has 189,000 subscribers and more than 15 million views. (JR)
72nd Infantry Battalion. (2021, June 5). Local Officials unmask true face of MISFI School in Bukidnon ARAKAN, COTABATO - Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI), located [Photos attached][Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=987398725341488&id=430674977680535
Cabunoc, H. (2021, June 10). NPA RECRUITMENT SCHOOL SA BUKIDNON Isa na namang NPA recruitment school ang ipinasara mismo ng mga mamamayan sa Sitio Sagundanon [Video attached][Shared post]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/rangercabunzky/posts/4410458322298189
National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. (2021, June 7). NTF-ELCAC Virtual Press Conference June 7, 2021 WATCH LIVE | “TAGGED!” Debunking Lies By Telling the Truth The National Security [Video attached][Facebook live]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ntfelcac/videos/485992432729629
News5Everywhere. (2020, November 26). Rep. Elago: We do not and cannot recruit into the NPA [Video]. YouTube. https://www.YouTube.com/watch?t=89&v=YxvEXHlnMX4&feature=youtu.be
Rappler. (2020, November 24). Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate at the Senate hearing on red-tagging [Video]. YouTube. https://www.YouTube.com/watch?t=163&v=aVQuK_5ZNuM&feature=youtu.be
Robin Sweet Showbiz. (2021, June 12). ELAGO, ZARATE SINUGOD SA RECRUITMENT BASE SA DAVAO? MGA MAGULANG WINASAK ANG STRUCTURE! [Video]. YouTube. https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=Gjwhfp9Qw7U
Rvp Nhoy Porras. (2021, June 5). USA ka skwelahan nga gituohan iya sa NPA sa brgy Sagundanun Bukidnon gi guba sa mga residente [Video attached]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/nhoy.porras/videos/4114731941917286
Save Our Schools Network. (2021, June 9). LOOK: Lumad Bakwit School students loses school again in Bukidnon QUEZON CITY - Lumad Bakwit School students decry that a [Video attached][Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1144819119342618
Umil, A. M. (2021, June 9). Solon condemns demolition of Lumad school in Bukidnon. Bulatlat. https://www.bulatlat.com/2021/06/09/solon-condemns-demolition-of-Lumad-school-in-bukidnon/