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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: Nostradamus predicted Duterte’s victory? Even Mocha Uson shared this story in 2016

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Stories about how the French seer Nostradamus, or Michel de Nostredame, allegedly predicted President Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency in the Philippines have resurfaced, but are Nostradamus predictions really true?

Facebook pages such as “Duterte News Everywhere,” “Duterte News Portal” and “Duterte” were among those pages that re-shared the stories on January 12 and 13.

They shared stories published by blogs such as thinkingpinoys.info, philrepublicnews.com, and newscenterph.info.

We checked the other contents on these blogs and these are the things that we discovered from each blog:

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  1. With thinkingpinoys.info, we found it sharing the fake story about Miss Universe 2017 Demi-leigh Nel-Peters saying she dreamt of working with Duterte; how the CHR will help the suspect in the killing of an OFW’s wife and daughter; Senator Risa Hontiveros wanting to help female driver Cherish Interior against bashers and her insulting Bacolod, among others.

  1. The blog philrepublicnews,com has published several fake, dubious stories on its site, including the made-up story about Hontiveros helping Cherish Interior to file cyberbullying charges against her bashers; how the results of the VP poll recount has been released by the Comelec; and the conspiracy theory about how it was not actually the late Senator Ninoy Aquino who was shot at the tarmac when his plane landed in Manila.

  1. Newscenterph.info seems to be a relatively new site, with some stories having misleading headlines. For instance, there was an article with a headline claiming that South Korea “will be” the Philippines’ third telecommunications company when there is no certainty yet that a South Korean firm will take the slot.

If these blog did not bother verifying the veracity of some of its articles’ claims, it might have done the same thing when it published the story about Nostradamus’ alleged predictions about Duterte and the Philippines, too.

This is what one of the blogs claimed Nostradamus said about Duterte and the Philippines, complete with their interpretation of what the seer allegedly said.

However, we also found that the same blog, thinkingpinoys.info, has this disclaimer that says, “This website cannot guarantee the legitimacy of some of the information contributed to us. You may do additional research if you find some information doubtful. Thank you for being considerate.”

It meant that even the blog that is spreading the story about Nostradamus predicting that Duterte would become the Philippines’ next leader is not 100% guaranteed legitimate or accurate.

This prediction story first went viral in 2016.

Even Duterte supporter and now Communications Asec. Mocha Uson shared the prediction in 2016.

“Nakakatakot naman ito, matagal na palang napredict ng isang magaling na propeta na is Nostradamus ang mangyayari sa Pilipinas at kasama si Duterte sa mga prediksyong ito!” she wrote in her Facebook post on May 15, 2016.

But if you click on the link to the story by crackerdaily.com, the page no longer exists.

MemeBuster previously debunked a story about this Nostradamus prediction and how Duterte was allegedly called a “messiah” but the story came from the satirical site thephnews.blogspot.com.

And it seemed like many of Nostradamus’ alleged predictions have been misinterpreted and forcefully linked to some significant happenings in the world, including the 9/11 attack, Hitler’s leadership, Louis Pasteur and his discovery, and more. But the seer’s predictions and their alleged links to said events have been debunked by Listverse.

Fact-checking site Snopes also debunked a few of the predictions that were attributed to Nostradamus, including those about 9/11, former US President Barack Obama, former George W. Bush’s election, and more.

This is what Snopes has to say about Nostradamus’ quatrains and how they allegedly predicted various events in the world:

“The French physician and astrologer Nostradamus (1503-1566) penned numerous quatrains populated by obscure imagery that the credulous have ever after attempted to fit to the events of their times. These predictions can often ring somewhat true because the images employed are so general they can be found in almost every event of import, but by the same token the prophecies are never dead-on fits because the wordings are far too general. Not that this stops anyone from believing in them; our society’s need for mysticism runs far too deep to ever allow for that.”

After having debunked several of Nostradamus’ alleged predictions, what Snopes is trying to say is that many of the French astrologer’s rhymes were forcefully interpreted and translated to seemingly fit the major happenings in the world, ending in what is essentially a fabrication, a fake prediction.

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Busted

Busted: Duterte wants to ban public cursing? Not true at all!

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President Rodrgio Duterte allegedly wanted to ban yet another thing – public cursing. But wouldn’t he be among the first violators of his own policy since he himself loves to curse during his impromptu speeches?

Well, there won’t be any violation if he does not want to implement such a policy in the first place. Stories about him wanting to ban public cursing came from a fake news site, which even categorized this particular story as “Satire and Humor.”

Duterte allegedly cursed the parents of children who are prolific in cursing, with a statement attributed to him: “Putang ina kala mo kung makapagmura alam nila ang ginagawa nila. Yong mga iresponsableng magulang ang dapat sisihin dito pero kailagan ding disiplinahin ang mga bata. Ipagbabawal ko yuan, yong pag mumura… pag nahuli kulong agad.. walang minor minor sa akin, putang inang human rights yan.”

The story further claimed that President Duterte also praised his controversial granddaughter Isabelle Duterte for being better than him when it comes to using expletives.

A screenshot of Isabelle calling people who believed that she is still 15 years old as “dumbf*cks” went viral in December 2017.

Just like how the story tagged the story as “satire,” it is indeed a made-up story. The only thing that is somewhat true in all of its claims is the fact that Duterte promised a few times before that he would stop cursing in public and stop directing those curses at other people.

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Duterte obviously failed to deliver what he promised, given how some of his speeches are still worth censoring because of some curses in between. He once cursed Pope Francis for being the cause of traffic that left him stranded for hours in the capital and directed some curses at former US President Barack Obama over human rights issues. He also cursed New York Times over criticisms of his drug war, UN special rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard, and actor Gabby Concepcion, albeit by mistake, when he meant to curse ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez.

Some Facebook pages, as usual, did not bother checking the source of the story or verifying its claims.

“CTPG Philippines,” “Trending To,” and “Pinoy Observer,” among other pages, still shared the story despite its dubious source.

The story was picked up by the blog newstv.5com, which seems to be trying to mimic TV’s news site, and which has published other fake stories before, such as activist Renato Reyes’ son crashing a sports car, Senator Bam Aquino blaming “Ang Probinsyano” for former Senator Lito Lapid’s inclusion in a survey’s ‘Magic 12’ list,  and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano scolding an elderly woman for posting about his niece’s lost wallet.

It also turned out that newstv.com’s story on Duterte’s alleged ban on public cursing came from the fake news site dedma.com, which has published a lot of fake stories on its site.

During the presidential campaign, Duterte once made a deal with Davao Archbishop and now CBCP President Romulo Valles to pay P1,000 for every curse word he makes in public and the funds would go to Caritas Davao.

Sources: ( rappler.comtheatlantic.comcoconuts.co )

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Busted

Busted: Several Facebook fan pages keep on sharing fake stories about Marcos winning as VP

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Despite how many fake stories we have debunked about how former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has been proclaimed as the real vice president of the Philippines, several Facebook fan pages still keep on sharing such stories.

Earlier this week, Marcos said that he won’t run for senator in 2019 because he already won as vice president.

But Marcos made that remark even before the vote recount in connection with his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo is set to start this February, as decided by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

In September last year, we busted a fake story came out about how the Supreme Court allegedly favored Marcos in his electoral protest, but as what has been mentioned earlier, the VP vote recount won’t start until February this year.

In October 2017, we debunked yet another fake story claiming that Robredo said she will continue to fulfill her vice presidential duties until Marcos takes over.

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Then in November last year, we busted the stories with headlines claiming that Marcos will finally become VP in 2018. Netizens also hit the tarpaulin in an event during the same month which described Marcos as “Vice President of the Philippines (To Be).”

And just a few days ago, these fake stories about Marcos as VP have been re-shared by many Duterte and Marcos fan pages on Facebook.

On January 11, Facebook page “Pres. Duterte Online Warriors” shared the story with the headline “Sa Wakas! Uupo Na Si Vice President Bongbong Marcos Ngayon 2018! Panoorin” and the post got shared over 1,200 times.

The other fan pages that shared these fake stories about Marcos’ alleged win as VP include “Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos,” “Duterte NewsBreak,” “Politics News,” and “Sunda Si Digong,” among other pages.

But no matter how fan pages keep on sharing these fake stories about Marcos being proclaimed as the vice president this year, it won’t change the fact that the vote recount is yet to start next month.

Sources: ( gmanetwork.com )

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