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Busted: Na-fake news ng throwback photo? Aguirre uses 2015 photo to link opposition lawmakers to Marawi crisis

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In a press conference on June 7, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II insinuated to the media that opposition lawmakers Sen. Bam Aquino, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, and former Aquino political adviser Ronald Llamas had a meeting in Marawi two weeks before the conflict between the government forces and the Maute terror group erupted.

“Hindi ko malaman why after they went there, nagkagulo na after two weeks,” Aguirre told reporters.

He accused the opposition of meeting political clans, naming the Alontos and the Lucmans, the families currently ruling the province. However, the accusation turned out to be baseless, false.

Sen. Aquino was the subject of speculations by fake news blogs that he met the Maute terrorists in Marawi City when he visited the area for the launching of ARMM’s first Go Negosyo Center. He authored the Go Negosyo Law. Even DTI came to his defense and issued a clarification of the circumstances behind his trip. On top of that several fake sites also claimed that the senator made ‘no comment’ regarding the speculations about his Marawi visit, which also turned out be untrue.

But this did not stop Aguirre from making his own insinuations linking Aquino and other opposition lawmakers to the Marawi crisis.

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“Because sina Senator Bam Aquino, hindi naman, sinasabi ko lang,  ano, na he went to Marawi on April 24 and April 28 and they stayed, they had a meeting at the Lake View Resort Hotel on May 2. Present were Senator Aquino, Ronald Llamas, Alejano, Trillanes, and some clans doon sa Marawi, mga Moro family,” Aguirre said.

Although the Justice Secretary refused to connect the alleged meeting to the attacks by Maute terrorists, he said “it’s possible, it’s probable” that the meeting “agitated” the local groups in Marawi City. He also added that the Marawi meeting could be part of the opposition’s plan to destabilize the Duterte administration.

Aguirre said that he would only investigate the connection between the opposition legislators and the P52 million in cash found in the terrorists’ hideout in Marawi if there is enough evidence linking the two.

“Hindi ko alam, basta ang sinabi sa akin, they met with several families there, kasama mga Lucman, kasama family ng Alonto, but I don’t want to connect it, unless there is evidence doon sa money taken, seized,” he said.

During the press conference, Aguirre also showed a photo from his phone, even teasing the reporters by only showing it quickly and hiding it away from the camera crew afterwards.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II Fake photo

But he wasn’t quick enough because the media later uncovered what the photo was. It was actually a photo of Trillanes, Alejano, Llamas, Mark Lapid, and Zamboanga del Sur Vice-Governor Ace William Cerilles, taken in 2015 and posted on Facebook by Cerilles on September 4, 2015.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II Fake photo

Even before Aguirre gave the reporters a glimpse of the photo, it was actually posted on Facebook and to several Duterte support pages on May 12 and 13.

It was also shared by the Facebook page “President Rodrigo Duterte.”

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II Fake photo

Other Facebook pages even used the 2015 photo as “proof” that Trillanes and the other opposition lawmakers indeed met in Marawi and that said photo should be enough proof to charge the lawmakers with high treason, as per the words of “Showbiz Government,” whose post has been shared over 6,000 times, as of writing, and “Bisaya Pa More.”

“Bam! Habang nag-iisip ka ng palusot, huwag mo sanang kalimutan na may mga litrato at videos na hawak na ebidensya laban sayo, kay Trillianes, Ronald Llamas at Gary Alejano noon mismong meeting ninyo sa Marawi. Dapat hulihin na kayo sa lalong madaling panahon. High Treason— yan ang kasalanan ninyo sa aming mga Pilipino! O si Loida, Rissa, Leni, Delima, Mag ready na. Sunod na kayo,” said the pages’ caption.

They truly bought Aguirre’s allegations against the opposition lawmakers.

Even Paula Defensor Knack, the sister of the late Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, also fell for Aguirre’s throwback photo and fake news.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II Fake photo

Cerilles also clarified the issue via his June 7 Facebook post by commenting on Rappler’s fact-check using the 2015 photo he uploaded.

“Thank you, rappler for clarifying this issue. As I have said, this picture was taken September 4,2015 at Iloilo International Airport when I attended the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines Visayas Conference as the National Treasurer. I don’t know why they are trying to link this to the #MarawiSeige. Check your facts! #NoToFakeNews,” he said.

In another post on June 8, Cerilles said thanked those who helped him explain to people the circumstances behind his now trending 2015 photo, adding that those who know him would know he loves taking selfies and group pictures, or groufie.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II Fake photo

Aquino issued a statement on Wednesday refuting Aguirre’s accusations and warned him about making “another false accusation.”

“It would be prudent for Secretary Aguirre to clarify dates, seek evidence and request for official statements from legitimate government agencies before he makes yet another false accusation,” Aquino said.

Trillanes said the Senate records for May 2 are enough proof that he was not involved in any meeting in Marawi City.

“I also did not have any meeting in Marawi on May 2 since I haven’t visited Marawi for the past 3 years. But don’t take my word for it, simply check the Senate records for May 2,” he said.

“The incompetence of Aguirre is only matched by his stupidity. I would advise him to avoid getting his intel from Facebook conspiracy theorists,” Trillaned added.

Llamas told Rappler that he was in the United States on May 2. “They can easily check that with the Immigration, which is under the Department of Justice,” he said.

Alejano also denied Aguirre’s accusations, saying he was at a plenary session at the lower chamber on the date in question, and called the justice secretary a “peddler of lies.”

“This is a complete lie fabricated by no less than a secretary of justice who should be the first one to uphold truth in pursuit of justice in this country. He has become a purveyor of anything that is fake, a peddler of lies and a persecutor of people who do not agree with the policies of the Duterte administration,” Alejano said.

Sources: ( rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com , sunstar.com.ph , Ace Cerilles , PilipinasTrends.ph )

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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: 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: 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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