Comelec chairman Andres Bautista’s aid was allegedly nabbed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with a luggage carrying P9.12 million and the story has since been shared at least 8,000 times.
Aside from thephilippinepolitics.com, we also found it published by a website claiming to be a satirical blog, pinoyobserver.com.
Airport security reportedly detained and questioned Bautista’s aid, named Nathaniel Ereseo, after it was found that his luggage was filled with millions of money while he was trying to catch a flight to Singapore at 11pm on August 12. Airport authorities were alerted to Ereseo’s luggage after he refused to open it after it passed through the X-ray machine at the boarding area. When Ereseo was released at 4am the next day, he left behind his luggage full of money. He remained tight-lipped about the cash, but admitted to being one of Bautista’s legal assistants.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council is reportedly now probing the case. Authorities were suspicious of the money’s possible links to Bautista’s current controversy involving his estranged wife’s corruption accusations against him. The luggage-filled money is being stored at the AMLC office in Manila.
One thing we can easily point out is that the blogs used “aid” to refer to an assistant instead of the word “aide.” Aid refers to assistance, while aid refers to an assistant or helper.
Another thing is that no other credible source carried the story and given the ‘satirical’ nature of pinoyobserver.com and thephilippinepolitics.com, which has carried several stories from the first blog, this is likely to be another piece of fake news.
As per the satirical blog’s claim, its content is only 50% facts. In this case, the claims of a luggage filled with P9.12 million worth of money and Bautista’s assistant carrying it are the fictional part of the story.
The name “Nathaniel Ereseo” only comes up on blogs carrying the same stories as pinoyobserver.com.
The photo used as feature image in the story on Facebook has been used in various money laundering-related articles published by various news sites, both local and abroad. It is not the actual luggage allegedly carried by Bautista’s ‘aid.’
Unfortunately, people believed the story and celebrated the capture of the Comelec chief’s ‘aid.’