Northern Samar scholars were not required to participate in a political rally backing the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo, contrary to a claim circulated by supporters of presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Facebook user Rolando Ada Orgas Jr. posted a series of unverified screenshots on Feb. 26, insinuating that the provincial government forced its Iskolar ng Probinsya beneficiaries to attend a supposed March 19 Robredo event in the University of Eastern Philippines to retain their scholarships.
The post also claimed that food and transportation of the attendees will be accommodated for free.
A part of the caption reads:
We are requesting your GOOD OFFICE to PLEASE do not push the ISKOLAR NG PROBINSYA beneficiaries to attend the POLITICAL RALLY OF THE HON. VP. LENI ROBREDO in Northern Samar, some of them, if not majority, are not voting for your chosen presidentiable.
DO NOT MAKE IT AS A REQUIREMENT FOR THEM.
LET US NOT DEPRIVE OUR SCHOLARS IN THEIR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE AND VOTE ACCORDING TO THEIR PREFERENCE.
AND BY THE WAY, YOU, BEING A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS BOUND TO EXERCISE THE RULE OF BEING NON-PARTISAN. THIS IS A COMPLETE VIOLATION OF THE ELECTION CODE AGAINST ELECTIONEERING…
Jhessen Tan Laping, president of Iskolar ng Probinsya-Allen, denied the accusation, stressing that the provincial scholarship coordinator was only asking the scholars for help in the said activity but did not require them for attendance.
“Sa katunayan tapos na kit magpasa requirements. So why is it na gagawin pang requirement ang pag attend sa Rally Ni VP Leni?” (In fact, the deadline for the submission of [scholarship] requirements has already passed. So why will it be a requirement to attend the rally of VP Leni?) Laping added.
President of Iskolar ng Probinsya-Silvino Lobos Fredo Sagonoy also said attendance in the event was not mandatory and that the provincial scholarship coordinator only disseminated information about the activity.
Northern and Eastern Samar governors Edwin Ongchuan and Ben Evardone have recently expressed their support for the vice president’s presidential bid. In early February, eight Eastern Samar mayors also endorsed the Robredo ticket following a provincial pink caravan attended by around 5,000 to 7,000 participants.
The Robredo camp is also set to hold a grand rally in Northern Samar on March 28.
As of press time, the misleading post already received 2,100+ reactions, 70+ comments and 3,100+ shares. It was reposted by a pro-Marcos Facebook page named “SAGO TEAM SOLID UNITEAM,” garnering 220+ reactions, 50+ comments and 160+ shares.
Another Marcos supporter shared the false claim on Twitter and gained 110+ retweets, 20+ replies and 190+ likes.