Vitug’s article was written was eight months ago; Marcos is now president, and heads of state enjoy diplomatic immunity under international law.

CLAIM: Veteran journalist Marites Vitug erred when she wrote in January 2022 that Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. couldn’t go to the United States because he would be arrested by authorities.

RATING: MISSING CONTEXT


Pro-Marcos social media users left out crucial context when they revived a statement by veteran journalist Marites Vitug in January 2022 that Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. couldn’t go to the United States because he would be arrested by authorities.

Sans any context, Twitter user @jcpunongbrgy heckled Vitug on Sept. 20, 2022, pointing out that President Marcos was already in the US for a visit.

“Hello Marites Vitug… Asa US pa din ang pangulo. Kaw ba? (Hello Marites Vitug. The president is still in the US. How about you?)”

The tweet has so far gained more than 20 retweets and a hundred likes but has the potential to extend its reach given the hostility of Marcos supporters to the news media. On Facebook, it was shared by user Benjie Contreras Jr., and has gained more than 350 engagements, 42 comments, and 20 shares. 

In response, Vitug posted a key term on her Facebook page: diplomatic immunity.

Vitug did not err when she wrote in January 2022 that Marcos risked arrest in the US over a contempt case involving a human rights class suit.

That was eight months ago; Marcos is now president, and heads of state enjoy diplomatic immunity under international law.

The 1969 UN Convention on Special Missions states that: “The Head of the sending State, when he leads a special mission, shall enjoy in the receiving State or in a third State the facilities, privileges and immunities accorded by international law to Heads of State on an official visit.”

The convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly of the United Nations on Dec. 8, 1969. It entered into force on June 21, 1985.

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