FALSE: Father of Ateneo Bully a 'police scalawag'

Claim: The father of an Ateneo Junior High School student in the bullying incident caught on a now-viral video is a policeman who was assigned at one point in Mindanao for being a scalawag.

On Saturday, December 22, the Facebook page Raffy Tulfo Supporters uploaded a video from Radyo Pilipinas, which featured an interview with former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Rafael Alunan III.

The video was posted with the following caption:

Tatay ng Bully ay Police Scalawag. Kaya naman pala. Panoorin ang rebelasyon ni dating DILG secretary Raffy Alunan tungkol sa tatay ng basagulerong atenista. Pakikalat po para mapakinggan ng mga kababayan natin ang sinabi ng dating kalihim.

(The father of the bully is a police scalawag. So that is why. Watch this revelation by former Secretary Raffy Alunan about the father of the troublesome Atenean. Spread the word so that our countrymen can listen to what the former secretary said.)

In the interview, Alunan, citing unnamed "sources" within the Philippine National Police (PNP), said this:

Nagtanong-tanong ako kung bakit ganon itong mga batang ito. They feel that they are untouchable and entitled to hurt others. Ang balita sa akin, at tsinek ko ito sa PNP, ay scalawag pala itong tatay, eh. Saka 'tinapon 'ata sa Mindanao for being a scalawag, and I am looking into his background kung bakit scalawag itong lokong ito. Because the PNP should not tolerate that. If this guy is a scalawag, they should file cases against him and kick him out of the force.

(I asked around about why these boys are like this. They feel that they are untouchable and entitled to hurt others. I was told, and I checked this with the PNP, that the father of these kids is a scalawag. And he got assigned to Mindanao for being a scalawag. I am looking into his background to find out why this person is a scalawag. Vecause the PNP should not tolerate that. If this guy is a scalawag, they should file cases against him and kick him out of the force.)

Alunan further speculated that the 14-year-old boy, a taekwondo practitioner, "appeared drunk or into drugs."

"Maybe this family is into drugs. That is why it should be looked into. There should be a formal investigation because if this bullying does not stop, these guys will be tomorrow's crime stories," Alunan further said.

Rating: FALSE

The Facts: Queries into databases listing PNP personnel – including their Personnel Accounting System, Records Management Division, and the Directorate for Personnel Records Management – show that there is no PNP member bearing the reported name of the father of the alleged bully.* Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr told Rappler this in a phone interview.

The listings checked included former and current personnel, and even those tagged as absent without leave (AWOL), according to Durana. “With due respect to former Secretary Alunan, our database is more reliable than his sources.”

Ateneo de Manila University has not named the student. Durana said they based the name to query on reports online which indicated that the alleged bully is a “Jr.”

“There are 71 Facebook accounts with that name at the moment,” Durana pointed out.

Following a probe, Ateneo has since announced that it dismissed the student caught bullying.

This is not the only unverified information, however, which was circulated on Facebook related to the bullying case.

An unsuspecting family found themselves in the middle of the mess when a number of posts circulated their home address as the supposed address of the alleged bully. Thousands of pesos worth of fastfood and shopping sites deliveries wrongly ended up at their home.

Senator Risa Hontiveros also found her face plastered on memes that made it appear she said the Ateneo student who was caught being violent to his classmate was not bullying, but was merely “practicing taekwondo."Gemma B. Mendoza/Rappler.com

*Specific names not mentioned to protect the identity of a minor.

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