Today, CCH received a text message from a friend asking if it is true that the Senate had passed SB 1869.
Here is the text of the relevant portion of the message. CCH is posting part of the text message since the latter has already found its way in social media group chats.
“Good afternoon … may kumakalat sa (there is spreading in) messenger OPLAN FOYA NG CDCPH that sb1869 has passed today in the senate with overwhelming vote; 24 senators voted therein. Is this true ,,, or false info?
CCH immediately answered: “Most likely false…But will check.”
Before reporting on how we fact-checked this news, CCH would like to explain why it was not predisposed to believe that this was accurate news.
First of all, the Senate announced on Wednesday, 17 May 2023, during adjournment, that their next plenary meeting was going to be on Monday, May 22, 2023, One can verify this in their YouTube coverage of their May 17, 2023 Senate Plenary Session.
Therefore, there could not have been a session the following day that would have led to the approval of SB 1869. Activating a special session, in secret, that is, unannounced in their own website, where they make such announcements, would be tantamount to lying to the public.
The Senate would then suffer massive charges of treason for making such a move. For as we have already argued in detail in Briefing Paper No. 1 (here), approving SB 1869 would be treachery.
Second, we know from inside Senate sources that, due to the protests and the thousands of messages Senators have been receiving from digital Freedom Fighters, the Senators themselves are divided and hesitant to rush the bill into approval despite pressure from the Office of the President.
Nonetheless, CCH still verified whether the news was true or fake. One never knows if somehow, for whatever reason, the news of the approval was accurate.
CCH then checked the Breaking or Latest News of the top 4 newspapers in the country. There was no news coverage in all four of them.
CCH also checked with the Senate website and FB account. There was no such announcement.
CCH then checked the website of CDC-Ph and its Rumble channel to see if somehow, through their own Senate sources, they had discovered that the bill had been passed. There was no such news.
Finally, CCH directly asked a Senator if this news was true or not. CCH sent this message: “Hi … social media is buzzing with news that the Senate has approved SB1869. Is this true? I personally think this is fake news as you have no plenary session today.”
CCH received a short and direct answer. “No”.
So it is clear that what was spreading was fake news!! As mentioned in a related article, a disinformation agent probably wanted to discourage other Freedom Fighters from joining the protest at the Senate. (For a fuller overview of the significance of this development, view here.)
By the way, there is nothing here in this news to imply that CDC-Ph is spreading fake news. For one, the name of that messenger group quoted above may not have been an authorized CDC-Ph name.
Here is CCH’s final message to its readers on this issue. We are in the middle of a disinformation war, not only on Covid and WHO, but also on other issues. We should all cross-check our sources and our facts to make sure that we are agents of Truths and not agents of Deceit!