Video does not show 'Philippine senator rescuing missing Filipino woman'

·2 min read

A video has been viewed millions of times in posts that claim it shows Philippine senator Raffy Tulfo "rescued" a 22-year-old Filipino woman whose disappearance sparked national headlines. This is false: a representative for Senator Tulfo told AFP he did not "rescue" the woman. In a statement, the national police force said it had charged two suspects with rape and homicide following her disappearance in August 2022. The Philippine media organisation that originally posted the video told AFP it shows the woman's sister and mother leaving a forensics office.

The video was viewed more than four million times in a Facebook post on August 31 before it was removed.

It appears to show clips of two women getting emotional while leaving a building.

The post's Tagalog-language caption translates to English as: "JOVELYN GALLENO! RESCUED BY RAFFY TULFO! FROM THE PRECINCT! JELYN GALLENO! CRIED SO MUCH!"

Jovelyn Galleno went missing in central Palawan province on August 5, sparking nationwide headlines.

Her disappearance has been repeatedly featured in a radio programme hosted by Senator Tulfo, who has described himself as an "independent" politician.

The video also features a photo slideshow taken from Philippine news reports published here and here.

Screenshot of the false post taken on September 1, 2022

In a statement on September 1, police said two suspects were charged with rape and homicide in connection with Galleno's disappearance, revealing that DNA found on some skeletal remains matched samples taken from her mother.

Galleno's family has expressed concerns about the police investigation and asked the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a separate probe into her disappearance, state-run Philippine News Agency reported.

The video was shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here; and on YouTube here.

Comments on the posts suggest users were misled.

"Thank goodness Jovelyn is alive and finally returning home," one user wrote.

"Thanks for your help, idol Raffy!" another one commented.

The posts are false: Galleno has not been found alive as of September 8.

"Senator Tulfo never rescued Jovelyn Galleno from a police precinct," a representative from Tulfo's office told AFP.

Misrepresented report

Keyword searches found the video in the false posts was taken from a news report posted by local radio station Brigada News FM Palawan on its Facebook page on August 30.

Below is a comparison of the video in the false posts (left) and the corresponding frame in the news report (right):

The report states the video shows Jovelyn's mother and sister getting emotional after leaving a forensics office in Palawan where they viewed a DNA test result.

In response to a query from AFP, a representative from the radio station said: "The posts are fake news. Our video does not show Jovelyn -- it shows her sister Jocelyn and mother Jelyn."