Busted: De Lima leaving PH to escape? Claimed a website with no content

A blog site with a headline claiming that neophyte Senator Leila de Lima tried to leave the country but was stopped by airport security has found its way to Facebook. It was picked up by a page called “Pinoy Viral,” which is obviously a page on the lookout for hot topics that sell. These days, controversial issues in politics tend to go viral once posted on social media.

The headline goes, “Senator de Lima balak lumabas ng bansa pinigilan ng airport security.”

De Lima Leaving PH Escape

To make it look more convincing, the cover photo is even a screengrab of what is promising to be a video at the airport, with de Lima’s picture in the upper right corner. To further pique the readers’ curiosity, it even tactically placed the number of views of the video on the first line under the headline, making it seem like the video has had more than 1.8 million views. If this is true, then the video has really gone viral.

If you know the criticisms that de Lima has received for opposing President Rodrigo Duterte and for insisting on a Senate probe on the rising number of extrajudicial killings in the recent days, then the idea that de Lima would try to leave the Philippines is quite plausible.


Now, let’s see what the article has to dish out on de Lima’s failed “escape” and click on the link.

Well, it does open to a web page with a YouTube video at what looked like an airport. Go on. Click on the Play button.

You already did?

Yes, the video ends a few seconds into playing it and shows a huge Facebook button instead, urging you to “Share on Facebook.” But would you do it for the sake of curiosity? You haven’t even seen the whole thing yet! What if it shares content that you would not have wanted to share with your Facebook friends?

And another glaring point that makes this site even more suspicious is that it did not even bother to add any written content to support the video. Just like many of the websites that Meme Buster has busted before, this website simply claims big using their headlines, without any supporting content at all.

If what the headline is claiming is really true, some netizens would have already posted a photo of de Lima at the airport? Remember what happened to Senator Antonio Trillanes III when he left for Hawaii? He was photographed at the airport, causing netizens to ask whether he’s escaping Duterte’s wrath, when it just turned out he’s leaving for an “official mission.”

The latest news reports about de Lima showed that the first-time senator has been quite occupied. Yesterday, July 14, she filed Senate Resolution No. 9, which called for an “urgent” investigation into the cases of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected drug pushers, drug users, and other criminals. So she might not really have time to leave the country if she is attending to her Senate duties.


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