Fact check: For the nth time, Sara Duterte did not say she will scrap K to 12

June 24, 2022 - 3:40 PM
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Students seated on chairs with plastic barriers attend a class as several schools in the Philippines' capital reopen for the first time since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 6, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

Claim: A pro-Marcos Facebook page claimed that incoming Education Secretary and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte promised to remove the K to 12 program once she assumes office.

Facebook page Andz TV, which was created last month and has more than 20,000 followers, said in a video posted on Thursday that Duterte plans to remove the two years of senior high school in K to 12:

“[…] Tiniyak na ni Davao City Mayor at ni Vice President Sara Duterte – Carpio na maaring tanggalin na ang K to 12 program o senior high school sa mga batang mag-aaral sa Pilipinas. […] Laking tuwa naman ng mga magulang sa iba’t ibang panig ng Pilipinas matapos mabalitaan ang nasabing programa na unang gagawin ni Sara Duterte bilang DepEd secretary.”

Rating: The claim is false.

Facts 

Duterte said at a June 20 press conference that she and president-elect Ferdinand Marcos have discussed reviewing the implementation of the K to 12 program. Neither she nor Marcos has said they are for its discontinuation.

In response to a question that mentioned parents who want K to 12 abolished, Duterte said: “That is something na kailangan pag-usapan. It cannot be decided overnight. It is something na napag-usapan din namin ni President Marcos. He already gave instructions with regard to the review of the implementation of K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd).”

Marcos further explained at a separate press conference on the same day that he and Duterte plan to improve—not stop—the implementation of the program.

DepEd also clarified in 2019 that it cannot arbitrarily discontinue the K to 12 program after similar false claims about its abolition cropped up on social media.

The department said that only the Senate and the House of Representatives have the power to amend or repeal the law that mandates the implementation of K to 12, or Republic Act 10533.

RELATED: K to 12 program not being scrapped, DepEd clarifies

Social media users previously misunderstood a June 19 GMA News report where parents said they wished to discontinue the K to 12 program, specifically senior high school, and believed that it was Duterte who said so.

Many who quoted the GMA News report mistakenly said that Duterte herself said she wants to remove the program.

Why it matters

The post with the false claim has so far reached almost 2,000 reactions and 500 shares.

Another Youtube video posted on June 20 with the misleading title “ITO ANG GOOD NEWS : K TO 12 TANGGALIN / PBBM SARA DUTERTE WALANG IWANAN” has reached 70,000 views.

A video with a similar claim is also circulating on TikTok garnering more than 233,400, over 8,600 comments and more than 6,500 shares as of writing.

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.

Interaksyon is part of #FactsFirstPH, a multi-sectoral initiative promoting truth in public space and demanding accountability for falsehoods. For those interested to join the initiative, email [email protected]

Interaksyon is also a founding partner of Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippine elections. It is an initiative of academe, civil society groups and media to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.