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Busted: Chinese military tunnel in PH? It’s actually Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel

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A Facebook post showing a photo of what was allegedly China’s military tunnel in the Philippines has been shared more than 4,400 times since it was posted on July 30. It was even captioned, “A New Philippines Breaking Story: Hidden Chinese Military Base with alleged Atomic Bomb Silos found in Zambales!”

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

However, this Kit Young is not the first person to have shared this photo. In fact, the photo might have come from the camp of Elly Velez Lao Pamatong since he shared the misleading tunnel photo on July 27.

Pamatong’s China tunnel photos

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

Pamatong even used the same photo when he declared war against President Xi Jinping of China, with his weapon raised. He also urged whoever’s interested to “join the USAFFE LIBERATION ARMY” because the Philippines is being invaded by the Chinese.

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

But who is Pamatong?

A Google search turned up several articles, including an Inquirer article about him being arrested for being suspected as the mastermind behind the failed bombing attempt made by three members of the USA Freedom Fighters of the East (Usaffe) at the NAIA Terminal 3. The newspaper also called him a “colorful figure in Philippine politics.”

Pamatong started Usaffe in 2003 as “an anti-communist paramilitary organization” to fight against the NPA in Mindanao. He is a practicing lawyer who claimed to have passed the American bar exam with 92% score. Inquirer also wrote that he graduated from the University of the Philippines and Siliman University.

Pamatong ran as president twice, in 2004 and 2010, but Comelec disqualified him as a nuisance candidate. He also ran as Pampanga governor in 2007, but lost.

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But the controversial personality earned his notoriety and a nickname “Spike Boy” after he tossed metal spikes in EDSA in 2004, damaging 100 vehicles, for being DQ’ed as a presidential candidate.

In 2010, he accused Comelec commissioners as thieves and was jailed for contempt after interrupting the announcement of the decision on the disqualification case he filed against former Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Joseph Estrada.

In March 2015, he also made the news when he and his followers signed a “declaration of war” against China with a blood compact, as GMA News Online reported.

More recently, in June 2106, GMA News Online reported that Pamatong filed a petition to stop President Rodrigo Duterte from becoming president. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition.

Duterte fan page posted the same photo

Ironically, one of the many Facebook fan pages devoted to Duterte also shared the same photo that was first used by Pamatong. And of course, the admins did not miss the opportunity to encourage its followers to share the information so other DDS (Die-hard Duterte Supporters) will know. To think that sharing the fake story is like supporting someone who tried to stop Duterte from assuming the presidency.

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

The real tunnel

However, the tunnel that was touted as China’s secret tunnel in Zambales turned out to be a “wye junction (TV-WS, Tunnelverzweigung West-Sud) in the western tube of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Multi-function Station Faido, Canton Ticino, Switzerland,” according to Wikimedia.

Gotthard Base Tunnel

image source: commons.wikimedia.org

Zambales governor belies Chinese presence in PH

Rumors about the presence of Chinese military in the Philippines, particularly in the Zambales mountains, likely came from a newspaper report that quoted Zambales Governor Amor Deloso claiming that the foreign forces are occupying a 500-hectare mountain in Santa Cruz.

In the same report, Deloso was also quoted saying that the Chinese stationed a missile into the three mountains in Santa Cruz. Even the US warships were supposedly monitoring the missile after the Philippines won over China in the maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea. The mountains were said to be sold to the Chinese by former Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.

However, Deloso granted an interview with The Manila Times, denying any of the reports cited above. He said that the Chinese are not in Zambales, but are stationed in the reclaimed area near the Scarborough Shoal. He made another controversial revelation though by saying that the Chinese used the rocks and soil from the Santa Cruz mountains to reclaim Scarborough Shoal.

Pamatong’s camp and everyone who posted the photo of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, passing it off as China’s military tunnel, are deliberately misleading the readers with this inflammatory claim. And to top that, they are pointing fingers at anyone, without supporting those accusations. It seems like deception is the name of the game and the ones on the losing end are those who don’t bother verifying the things they read online.

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Busted

Busted: Robredo wants to add years to the K-to-12 program? It’s fake news!

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Vice President Leni Robredo’s office released a statement debunking social media posts claiming that she wants to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program. This came after several posts started circulating about how Robredo allegedly said that she wanted to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program, angering netizens.

A certain tweet on March 1, 2020 showed the vice president’s photo along with these words: “Kulang ang K to 12 education system natin. Kelangan apat na taon sa Junior HS at apat na taon sa Senior HS.”

In January 17, the same image shared to the Facebook page “Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters” also got shared over 6,000 times and triggered negative comments among the netizens.

Many social media users have lambasted Robredo over the said meme.

The unwarranted bashing and adverse reactions prompted her office to release an official statement debunking this false claim.

“Hindi totoong pinadadagdagan ni VP Leni Robredo ang mga taon sa K-to-12 program,” said the vice president’s office in a statement.

“Suportado ng Bise Presidente kung sakaling magkaroon ng review ng nasabing programa. Binibigyang-diin niya na kailangang siguraduhin na may tamang facilities at equipment ang mga specialized tracks, para mas maging madali ang pagtuturo nito at matiyak ang kahandaang makapagtrabaho ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang pagtatapos,” it added.

In October 2019, Robredo did say that she was alright with reviewing how the K-to-12 program to determine how it could be further improved.

“Tumutugon rin ang kaniyang Tanggapan, kasama ang #AngatBuhay partners nito, sa pangangailangan ng tamang kagamitan. Nakapagbigay na ng kaukulang tools at equipment sa mga mahihirap na paaralan, gaya sa Mulanay sa Quezon, Panglao sa Bohol, at Sta. Maria sa Romblon,” the statement further said.

This is not the first time Robredo has been a victim of fake news. There were false claims, misleading headlines, and edited images or captions about how former Senator Bongbong Marcos has already won over Robredo, how she met former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, or how her portrait was sold on eBay, something that a popular blogger apologized for.

Sources: ( inquirer.net , news.mb.com.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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