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Busted: Bicol election officials found 8,654 dead voters for Robredo? It’s fake news!

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Some articles online have been claiming that election officials have found dead registered voters to have voted for Vice President Leni Robredo, giving her an unfair edge over other vice presidential candidates.

The stories, though, came from dubious altervista.org sites, such as Bacolod.altervista.org and localhero.altervista.org. MemeBuster readers might be more familiar with the second blog because we have busted several fake news from that particular site.

Unfortunately, these blogs’ claims have already spread online.

According to the blogs, which both have exactly the same copies of the story, NAMFREL and a Bacolod City Comelec officer reported that Salvador Benedicto, a town in Negros Occidental, fell victim to election fraud as dead people boosted Robredo’s votes. They further claimed that some people from Robredo’s camp were caught driving around a “van full of illegals” to vote from one polling station to the next.

The blogs also said that similar fraudulent activities were also noted in the town of Moises Padiila.

The local radio station DYHB Radyo Agong was said to have reported these:

“Bacolod election officials have determined that more than 22,000 votes (that’s 7,879 more than yesterday) so far in the province of Negros Occidental are null and void because the votes don’t appear to be living.”

“It appears that these voters’ names were never removed from the rolls when they passed away and someone used their information to stack votes for Leni Robredo.”

According to officials, Robredo was estimated to have received 70,000 fake votes.

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Why do we think this story is not true?

  • Story came from a fake news site.

The blog Bacolod.altervista.org might have published it, but it pointed to its source being localhero.altervista.org. The latter has published fake stories such as Trillanes hiring Lascañas and Matobato as his bodyguards, Aquino saying he wanted to return the money he earned from the Dengvaxia deal, Trudeau apologizing to Filipinos and promising visa-free entry for caregivers, and CBCP feeling sad over the death of rebels from an Army strike, and more.

We just spotted another fake news at Bacolod.altervista.org about US President Donald Trump allegedly telling President Rodrigo Duterte that he did a good job in shutting down Rappler.

  • Title is completely irrelevant to the body of the story.

With Bacolod.altervista.org, the headline read, “BICOL Election Officials Found 8,654 Dead Folks Who Voted for Robredo.” But when you read the story, you will find that it was talking about Bacolod City and other towns in Negros Occidental, not Bicol. Even the figure “8,654” dead people could not be found in the story.

  • VP ballot recount is yet to start.

The recount is slated to start in February 18. On January 20, PTV News reported that Negros Occidental’s local NAMFREL chapter is preparing to watch over the retrieval, transport and custody of the ballots and other election materials. The ballot recount will include the provinces of Negros Oriental, Camarines Sur, and Iloilo.

The fact that the ballots are yet to be opened in February showed that it would be impossible for election officials to identify the voters and confirm whether they are still alive or not, as per the altervista blogs’ claims.

  • No other news sites have reported about the issue.

Such major discoveries about the past election would have made it to the different news sites in the country, but you can check it out yourself and you’ll only find the claims of dead voters on the altervista blogs. We even Googled the quoted remarks in the story and here’s what we found:

This claim about thousands of dead people voting for Robredo is a fake one that comes from proven fake news sites. It’s 2018! Let’s be vigilant and not let the fake news makers win this year!

Sources: ( gmanetwork.comptvnews.ph )

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Busted

Busted: Walang kasalanan ang Tulfo brothers ayon sa imbestigasyon? It’s a misleading headline!

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An article has claimed that an investigation has found the Tulfo brothers to be not guilty. It says, “Lumabas Sa Imbestigasyon Na Walang Kasalanan Ang Tulfo Brothers,” as published by the website phworkit.top.

The story was even shared by Facebook pages “Ferdinand Emmanual Edralin Marcos” and “Rody Duterte MEDIA.”

However, the article merely contained a 10-minute YouTube video, which was a mix several video clips of different reports, some parts of which touched on the issues involving the P60 million tourism ads that aired on the PTV program of Teo’s brothers, the Tulfos.

One of the video clips showed that the CNN Philippines reported on why nepotism is considered corruption and abused of authority in the case of now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda and how her husband, Roberto Teo, served as the board member of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). But Roberto was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III and has tendered his resignation from TIEZA effective June 30, 2018.

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Another video clip showing a CNN Philippines report of a Malacañang press briefing, where a reporter asked Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque if Communications Secretary Martin Andanar would be among those investigated in the controversial placement of P60 million worth of tourism ads on the program of the Tulfos, who are Teo’s brothers, leading people to raise the issue of conflict of interest. As the PCOO chief, he also supervises the state-run PTV-4, where the Tulfos’ programs are a blocktimer.

Asked by yet another reporter what President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment was on the issue with the DOT and the Tulfos, Roque said that he did not know then because he had not talked to the President for a while and the investigation conducted by the Office of the President was ongoing then.

The headline used in the video is misleading. It meant to make people think that the Tulfo brothers have been cleared from the issue involving them with the controversial P60-million tourism ad deal.

However, reports showed that even after Teo resigned from her post on May 7, the Ombudsman will still continue with the probe into the scandal. The body requested from the Commission on Audit (COA) a copy of its DOT report involving the controversial P60-million worth of payments for ads aired on PTV on May 8. The investigation is still ongoing, which meant that they it has not yet cleared the Tulfos.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also said to be investigating the scandal to determine the officials at fault at the DOT, People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI), and the PCOO.

Ramon Tulfo, an Inquirer columnist, came out in the defense of his sister Teo and blamed  his younger brother Ben Tulfo for the controversy.

Party-list group Akbayan, however, said it was not enough for Teo to step down from her post. They wanted her to be prosecuted.

“The simple firing or resignation of corrupt officials will not put a stop to corruption in the government if this is not followed by swift prosecution and conviction,” the group said in a statement.

Akbayan also challenged President Duterte to file cases against Ben and Erwin Tulfo over the controversial ad transaction. Ben owns Bitag Media, which produced the PTV show “Kilos Pronto,” the program where the DOT ads were aired. His brother, Erwin, co-hosts the show with him.

Sources: ( newsinfo.inquirer.ne , thestandard.com.ph , cnnphilippines.com , rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com , businessmirror.com.ph )

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Busted

Busted: Legarda sinumbatan si Robredo na mag-resign bago pa lumabas ang resulta na panalo si Marcos? Misleading headline!

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Senator Loren Legarda allegedly confronted Vice President Leni Robredo and asked her to resign before the results would show former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the winner.

The video was posted by blog dailydu30.info on May 15, 2018. The vice presidential vote recount is still ongoing, so the headline must have been referring to the result of the recount. It also made it seem as though Legarda is telling Robredo that she is certain that Marcos would emerge as the winner in the recount.

The YouTube video is 20-minute long and Legarda’s face was immediately shown at the beginning of the video. However, if you finish watching it, you’d know immediately that the video was not taken recently. In fact, it showed a portion of the budget hearing for 2017 for the Office of the Vice President. Further research showed that the hearing was conducted in front of the Senate panel on August 22, 2017 and it lasted less than an hour before it was approved. Robredo herself attended the budget hearing to present an overview of the OVP’s plans for 2018.

Legarda served as the Senate panel’s chair.

During the hearing, Robredo reported how the OVP spent its funds, mainly for poverty alleviation.

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The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that following the presentation on the fund allocation of the OVP, Legarda asked Robredo to send them a yearlong report on the needs of the sectors and areas that the OVP has reached while promising to help out on fulfilling those needs.

So unlike what the headline claimed, Legarda did not tell Robredo to resign from her VP post to make way for Marcos’ imminent victory. The headline is misleading and is merely playing with people’s emotions and gullibility.

However, Facebook page “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters” still shared it without verifying the headline’s claims.

There have been several fake stories involving Marcos and Robredo and the VP vote recount that we have busted. We debunked a misleading headline claiming that Marcos has already won, that Marcos won by 1,786 votes over Robredo, that Robredo would perform her tasks as VP until Marcos takes over, and that Marcos will replace Robredo.

Sources: ( philstar.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net )

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Busted

Busted: Hollywood actor laughed at Robredo for copying his Independence Day movie speech? It’s fake news!

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After Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent “Free the Courts” speech at UP Diliman on May 7, articles abound about how a Hollywood actor laughed at her for copying his speech in a movie.

Actor Bill Pullman, who played the role of a fictional US president in the movie Independence Day, allegedly laughed at the Philippine VP for copying the speech he made during the movie. This is according to the May 8 story on the blog philippineinsidernews.blogspot.com.

The story was also picked up by other blogs, such as balita1.altervista.org, weblogph.tk, and realspotnews.info and shared by Facebook pages, such as Philippine News Courier, Trending News Today, and Like for Donations, among others.

Based on these stories online, Pullman was said to have reacted to a meme made by blogger RJ Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, comparing Pullman’s character’s speech and Robredo’s speech. The actor was shown to have tweeted his reaction to TP’s meme, saying “Creative and very well done. Gave me a good laught this morning.” It was also time-stamped “20m,” marking that the screenshot was made 20 minutes after the tweet went live.

While the time-stamp made it seem like Pullman’s alleged tweet was made recently, it actually wasn’t. The text in Pullman’s tweet that was used in the story above was real, but he posted that tweet in reaction to a completely different thing, not Robredo’s speech. He tweeted that on February 22, 2018 when he reacted to a YouTube video “Lone Starr A Spaceballs TEASER. – Han Solo a Star Wars Story Style.”

But the misleading story did not end there! It even had a Part Two bearing the title “Robredo Won’t Apologize for Copying Bill Pullman Speech at Independence Day Movie” published on May 9 by the same blog, philippineinsidernews.blogspot.com.

In this story, statements were attributed to Robredo’s spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, who allegedly reacted to Pullman’s reaction to Robredo’s speech.

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“The OVP [Office of the Vice President] categorically deny allegations that VP Leni Robredo copied her recent speech from the movie Independence Day. The message might be the same, but the difference in words is very obvious. The vice president also spoke from her heart, and there was no prepared speech for her.”

“The vice president believes that the accusation is only a strategy of her critics to divert the public’s attention from the real issue. It is very clear that the present administration is doing everything to silent its critics, and is using the Constitution in the wrong way. Therefore, the vice president needs to fight against the dictatorship.”

But in Rappler’s fact-checking report, Hernandez denied making the statements above.

“Those statements did not come from me. Definitely fake news,” she said in a text message to Rappler.

While there are similarities in Robredo’s speech and Pullman’s speech while playing his character in the movie, Pullman did not make a reaction over this. His February 2018 tweet was edited to mislead people. Robredo, unlike the claims of the second part of the story, also did not react to this fake news involving Pullman.

This is not the first fake story that the Facebook page Philippine News Courier has helped spread on social media. The said page also shared the fake stories about the late Playboy founder Hugh Heffner donating $5 million to Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, the Supreme Court ordering Kris Aquino to return Imelda Marcos’ diamond necklace, former Senator Bongbong Marcos leading over Robredo by 1,786 votes in the first week of the VP vote recount, and more. The page is also associated to the fake news site philnewscourier.blogspot.com.

Sources: ( www.rappler.comtwitter.com )

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