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Fact check: Venus Raj endorses NGO Christian Values Movement, not a presidential bet

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Fact check: Venus Raj endorses NGO Christian Values Movement, not a presidential bet
This screengrab shows Filipino beauty queen Venus Raj promoting non-governmental organization Christian Values Movement, in a video posted on Dec. 14, 2021.
Screengrab from Christian Values Movement Facebook video

MANILA, Philippines — A video of beauty queen Venus Raj talking about a non-government organization that aims to inform voters on qualities to look for in leaders for the coming polls was edited to appear like she is endorsing a certain presidential bet.

CLAIM: A Facebook page shared a video of Raj that was edited to add a caption that the beauty queen is for presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

RATING: This is false.

FACTS:

What the post said

Facebook page “Saan na nga b? Ang Barkada Ngayon” posted the video, which is an edited Tiktok video by user @markerjer, on January 2, with the caption “Tol ito ang latest.”

In the Facebook post, the following captions were added: “Miss Universe Venus Raj Solid Bongbong Marcos” and “Bicol solid BBM.”


Screengrab by Philstar.com

What the post left out

The original video, which is nearly eight minutes long, was first posted by Christian Values Movement on its Facebook page on Dec. 14, 2021.

Raj however made no mention of Marcos or any other candidate in the 2022 polls in the video, both in the original video from CVM and in the reposted Tiktok on “Saan na nga b? Ang Barkada Ngayon” page.

The beauty queen was talking about CVM, a non-profit organization, that she said aims to “have an influence in the 2022 elections by teaching how to pick the right leader and elect leaders who have fear of God.”

On Dec. 31, 2021, CVM disowned another Tiktok video with an added caption "BBM Sara". It said in a statement: “We would like to inform everyone that CVM does not promote nor endorse any candidate and is not affiliated with Tiktok user @nashprecilciano. CVM stands for Christian Values as guide to choose the right leaders for our nation.”

On January 10, the group hit the “stealing” of their non-partisan video to twist their message for the Filipinos. “It expresses the corrupt appreciation of those behind such a bad campaign,” it added.

Essential context

A cursory check on the Facebook page “Saan na nga b? Ang Barkada Ngayon” showed that it has been posting videos, often with just “Ctto” or credit to the owner as caption, involving Marcos.

This is not the first time that supporters of the presidential candidate also made false post. Philstar.com in November 2021 flagged a fake graphic showing that Pope Francis has endorsed Marcos’ presidential bid.

Over at Twitter, the social media giant suspended hundreds of accounts promoting Marcos for violating its rules on spam and manipulation—but the presidential aspirant’s camp stressed that there was “no certainty that all of them belong to the supporters of Bongbong Marcos.”

Marcos, in an interview with One News’ Sa Totoo Lang on Wednesday, also denied he has a troll farm and said “everything is organic.”

“I challenge them to show me where the troll farms are,” he added.

Why does it matter?

A Philstar.com reader sent the claim for verification. The video made it appear like Raj, who was talking about qualities that a leader must have, is endorsing a presidential candidate.

Although CVM, who refers to Raj as their ambassador, posted its first statement disowning the video nearly a month ago, the video remains up on January 25. It has gained 32,000 reactions, 2,000 comments and 251,000 views.

Fact Check Philippines page also looked into the same claim and tagged it as fake news on January 14, but the repost remains up and accessible to Facebook users.

CVM on January 10 called on candidates and their supporters to “reject” the approach of twisting their message for the Filipinos. “Let us revive our good habits and values especially in voting and the election process!” it added.

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This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts.

Want to know more about our fact-checking initiative? Check our FAQs here.

Have a claim you want fact-checked? Reach out to us at [email protected]

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