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ASEAN chairman Duterte not invited to G20 Summit, Palace says it’s not Duterte’s style to seek other countries’ approval



President Rodrigo Duterte was not invited to the G20 Summit held on July 7 to 8 in Hamburg, Germany despite the tradition of inviting ASEAN chairmen to the international forum. Malacañang Palace explained that aside from not getting a formal invitation from the German government, the current G20 Summit host, the Philippine government reportedly did not lobby for an invitation.

The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany confirmed that Duterte was not invited.

“The Philippines did not belong to the invited guest countries,” it said.

Rappler pointed out that it was odd that Duterte, being the current ASEAN chairman, was not invited because it is tradition for countries who held ASEAN chairmanships to be invited to the summit.

One netizen, Van Ybiernas, scored Rappler for writing this report about how an ASEAN chair is “usually” an invited guest to the G20 summit because he is not sure what Rappler’s Pia Ranada’s basis was for saying so.

“It is the host country’s prerogative to invite whoever it wants to invite to the G20 Summit. Thus, the invitation is a reflection of the host country’s ties with either ASEAN as a whole or the country occupying the chairmanship. G20 as an organization does not make this decision,” Ybiernas wrote.


He then said that 2016 host China invited ASEAN chair Laos because they are allies and that Turkey invited Malaysia in 2014 because both are secular Muslim states, although we later found Turkey’s G20 hosting to be in 2015, not 2014. He continued with how the 2014 host Australia invited ASEAN “for obvious reasons,” but how France did not invite ASEAN in 2011 because the country “doesn’t have substantial interests in Southeast Asia.”

Ybiernas added that the Philippines was not invited by Germany for “soured” PH-German relations.

“DAGDAG: We weren’t invited by Germany I guess because Germany doesn’t have massive interests in the Philippines. Plus Phl-German relations soured because of that long controversy in NAIA3 involving German firm Frapport,” he said.

“Niloloko na naman tayo ng mga manloloko sa Rappler! Huwag paloloko mga kababayan!” he added.

The Conversation explained in its November 2014 article who gets invited to the G20 Summit and why. It noted that the G20 president gets to invite about six guest countries in an effort to establish the legitimacy of the summit as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation” and to quash concerns about the forum’s limited and contentious membership.

The Conversation further noted how it has become customary to invite the Chair of ASEAN and the chairman of the African Union and the representative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It was not only Rappler that noticed the pattern of inviting the ASEAN chairman to the G20 Summit. Other invitees are picked by the host country.

Here are the following ASEAN chairmen who were invited to the G20 Summit by the host country:

It can be noted that the 2011 G20 Summit host France did not invite ASEAN chair Indonesia.

The Palace explained that Duterte did not participate in the G20 Summit because the Philippine government did not lobby for the country’s invitation, adding that the President would rather stay in the Philippines to manage the government instead of seek the “approval” of other countries.

“Hindi talaga istilo ng Presidente yun kasi kailangan nating itakbo ang sarili nating ekonomiya, itakbo natin yung sarili natin,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

“Hindi naman kasi sa approval ng ibang tao yung ating pag-unlad. So ang nangyayari actually is nilalakad ng ating Presidente yung ating pag-unlad. Tinututukan niya yung nandito, not necessarily na humihingi sya ng approval ng iba. Iba lang ang istilo lang talaga. And it seem to be working for us. And it is excellent, for example the economy is growing,” he added.

President Duterte has slammed EU, of which Germany is a major country, for criticizing the Philippine government’s war on drugs. He also rejected EU grants with conditions that would interfere in the internal affairs in the Philippines.

The G20 Summits are participated in by its members – 19 countries and the European Union – since it started in 2008. Spain has the status of being a permanent guest and the host country can invite extra guests. This year, Germany invited three countries – Norway, Singapore, and the Netherlands – as well as the African Union (Guinea), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Vietnam), and the NEPAD (Senegal).

Other organizations that were invited include the International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organization, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Financial Stability Board, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.

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Paula Defensor-Knack urges fellow DDS to move to Russian social media site after leaving Facebook



After reports surfaced about how Facebook tapped Vera Files and Rappler as its partners in fact checking everything that goes on the social media site, one Diehard Duterte Supporter urged her fellow DDS to shut their Facebook accounts down and move to a Russian social media website.

Paula Defensor-Knack, the younger sister of the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and avid supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, took to Facebook on April 13 to post detailed instructions for her fellow DDS to deactivate their Facebook accounts and migrate to Russia’s version of Facebook, called

“Deactivate your accounts on FB only… so that you get the uncensored truth from us in and fight again in the rest of social media,” Knack wrote.

She then listed down all five steps that the DDS have to follow to complete the move to VK from Facebook. She wanted them to sign up for a VK account and find their DDS group, warned them about the lag in posting links on VK and how posting of pornographic materials are not allowed, and gave them a deadline of five days before all of Knack’s and other DDS groups on Facebook will be deactivated.

“After 5 days our groups will be deleted/deactivated. Do not let yellows censor or fact-check you. Lets leave them to talk to themselves and get votes,” Knack wrote.

“We will tell the world what is the truth in another platform – this time, in Europe! See you there!!!” she added.

Hours after the instructions for the migration to VK, Knack once again taunted the Liberal Party, while emphasizing how many DDS there are. In the same post, she also said that those living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) within 24 hours of the announcement.

Both of these Facebook posts came hours after Knack took to Facebook to criticize its move to partner with Rappler and Vera Files for fact-checking.

“We will leave Vera Files and Rappler with no one to talk to or no account to suspend on FB. We will bring our defense of PRRD and the country to another international audience in the new social media platform which is free & easy to use,” she wrote.

Meme Buster has written several stories debunking fake stories and has found that some of them were shared by Knack herself.


Knack shared a meme that made it seem as though Senator Risa Hontiveros flaunting her achievements, but it turned out to be a fake. She also shared that fake claim by a former Arroyo official about how the Magdalo group was allegedly connected to the Maute terrorists, something that even the defense chief denied, Aguirre’s misleading 2015 throwback photo of opposition lawmakers in Marawi, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV getting abandoned by Zambales crowd, and the photo of a man falsely accused as the cop who shot teenage victim Kian delos Santos and having a selfie with Robredo. In 2017, just like Communications Asec. Mocha Uson, Knack also dared people to send the media and support to a wake of a cop who died in 2016.

On April 12, Facebook announced its partnership with Vera Files and Facebook to launch a fact-checking program in the Philippines to “reduce the reach of false news stories on Facebook, check their facts, and rate their accuracy,” according to Clair Deevy, Facebook Director for Community Affairs for Asia Pacific.

Rappler and Vera Files will review stories flagged as fake news. Those that will be identified as such will be put lower in the Facebook News Feed and be less visible. Facebook users who will try to share the story will receive a notification that the story has been identified as false. Related articles will also be written about the fake stories to explain why they were flagged as such. Pages that will continue to stubbornly tell the story will have reduced post distribution and lesser ability to monetize their content.

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Election lawyer to Marcos’ accusations over ‘ballot anomalies:’ Wow mali na naman tayo



Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. aired out his accusations over the alleged anomalies involving the opened ballots for the vice presidential vote recount on April 2.

In a Facebook post, he said that “100%  weather proof” and “waterproof” ballot boxes were “soaked in water,” a practice he described as something often used by election cheaters before a recount; found it laughable that Vice President Leni Robredo’s lawyer explained the incident as something that was caused by a storm in Camarines Sur; and found it suspicious how Robredo’s camp changed their tune by saying they are confident with the outcome of the recount.

But election lawyer Emil Marañon III addressed Marcos’ accusations one by one in a Facebook post and told the protesting politician, “Wow mali na naman tayo.”

Marañon deemed the practice of wetting the ballots as something used decades ago in 1992, but things have changed as the automated elections replaced the manual elections. He also pointed out that Marcos’ camp even asked for the scanned copies of each ballot to be printed.

“Una, wetting the ballots para mandaya sa recount is so 1992. Hindi katulad noong manual elections, sa automated election system, may scanned copies ang bawat balota na pwede balikan in case na masira, mabasa or mawala ang original paper ballots. Baka nakalimutan ni Mr Marcos na nag request nga siya to print them,” he wrote.

He also explained why ballot boxes are not exactly “weather proof” and “waterproof,” as per Marcos’ claims.

“Hindi lang raw “100% weather proof” but “waterproof” ang ballot boxes kaya hindi raw pwede mabasa. Mukhang hindi pa siya nakakakita ng ballot box at kung saan nakatago ang mga ito. By design, may mga butas talaga ang ballot boxes kung saan dumadaan ang balota mula sa Vote Counting Machine (VCM) going to the box. Yes, kadalasan doon nakakapasok ang tubig pag directly naulanan ang mga ito,” Marañon explained.

The election lawyer further said that most ballot boxes are simply stored somewhere exposed to the elements, such as a gym, but that it won’t matter as much because there are ballot images that can be used as backup reference.

As for Marcos accusing Robredo’s camp of doing everything to delay the vote recount, Marañon pointed out how it was her camp that even “filed a motion withdrawing all motions” and vowed not to file any, something that the Marcos camp failed to deliver when they were the ones that issued the challenge in the first place.

“The Robredo camp raw “did everything in their power to delay the recount.” Wow lang. The Vice President did not file any motion to delay the recount. In fact, she filed a motion withdrawing all motions na may dilatory effect sa proceedings and committed on record not to file any. Baka nakalimutan niyang siya ang hindi tumupad sa sarili niyang challenge at hindi nag-file ng motion to withdraw his dilatory motions,” he said.

Calling Marcos “Boy Kuryente,” Marañon corrected Marcos’ false assumption that audit logs are also stored in the ballot boxes.

“Sir, hindi naman talaga nilalagay ang audit logs sa loob ng ballot box. Sa procedure ng Comelec (pakibasa Resolution No. 10057, Article VII, Section 29 [f] 5), ang audit logs ay tinu-turnover ng Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) sa Election Officer (EO) ng bayan o siyudad after ng election. Pagkatapos, pinapadala ng EO ang naipong audit logs sa Comelec Main Office sa Maynila. Dahil doon, walang audit logs sa loob ng mga ballot boxes. Samakatuwid, huwag maghanap ng wala,” he wrote.

Before ending his Facebook post, Marañon urged Marcos to hire new consultants, considering how many “fake news” and false assumptions he has made over the past few months regarding his election protest.

“Sa dami ng fakenews, mali-mali at kuryente mo sa nakaraang mga buwan, please find better election consultants. Yung nakakaintindi naman kahit slight,” he said.

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Twitter user hits Marcos, believers that Marcos had gold bars before he became president



When the vice presidential vote recount started on April 2, one Twitter user made it his job to point out just how corrupt the Marcoses are and slam their supporters who believed that the family had gold bars even before the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. became president.

Twitter user Alt BBM (@alt_BBM) started his thread with a survey, asking the Twitterverse if they believe in the tale about the Marcos gold bars.

He also tweeted a screenshot of a YouTube video with a title “Shocking Fact About the Gold Reserves of Ferdinand Marcos Revealed!”

He then urged his followers to watch a two-minute video clip of an old ABC News documentary called “20/20,” showing the lavish lifestyle of the Marcoses and the millions they accumulated.

There was also a clip, still from the same documentary, showing how the Marcoses had a custom built disco in Malacañang and invited several big names in the international entertainment industry during parties.

Alt BBM reminded his followers how the Marcoses built structures that the ordinary Filipinos did not even benefit from, such as the Coconut Palace and the Manila Film Center. The latter even cost the lives of 30 workers, who were described in the documentary as victims that other workers had to pour cement over because the former First Lady Imelda Marcos said there was no time to dig them out.

There were also clips posted in the thread about Imelda’s collection of jewelries, over 2,000 shoes, and clothes and her hoarder tendencies.

The rest of the thread went on to hit the Marcoses as a family. The last part was a clip showing a reporter asking Imelda how she managed to get expensive, beautiful things. Imelda said that it was because Marcos was a lawyer of a gold mining company and that she saw the gold herself at his home even before he was voted president.

Alt BBM commented on this remark by the former First Lady saying, “Sa mga naniniwala sa pagkakaroon ng maraming ‘Gold Bars/Reserve’ ng pamilya Marcoses, panoorin niyo tong interview ni Imelda with BBC news! Ang sagot niya ay lawyer daw si Ferdinand Marcos ng “Gold Mines”. KUMUSTA NAMAN ANG KWENTONG YAN?!”

He then addressed his lawyer followers if lawyers of gold mines do get filthy rich.

“Sa mga abogadong followers ko, ano kayang cases ang hawak ni Marcos para kumita siya ng ganong karaming pera? O di ba? Kaya kung may kaibigan kang naniniwala sa Gold Bars ng mga Marcoses, i unfriend mo na yang mga yan bago ka mahawa sa katangahan nila,” he tweeted.

He conducted a final survey asking other Twitter users if they still believe that Marcos was rich even before he became president because he had gold bars. The final results have come out, showing that 95% of those who answered the survey did not believe in the Marcoses’ claims.

MemeBuster has also written stories about the Marcos wealth before. Veteran journalist Ed Lingao has a short story on News5 debunking the myths about the sources of the Marcoses’ wealth and ended it with an explanation on why the Supreme Court decided to forfeit their Swiss bank accounts with $685 million in 2003. Another netizen also debunked the same stories about the Marcos gold one by one after several stories about the treasure went viral online.

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