Ever since talks about how Senator Antonio Trillanes IV served as former President Benigno Aquino III”s back-channel negotiator with China over the issue involving the Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, numerous articles have surfaced about how Aquino and Trillanes must have sold the disputed territory to the Chinese. But the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague has already ruled in favor of the Philippines against China on July 12, which meant that the shoal was never sold to China in the first place.
However, it seemed like this one Duterte supporter has not heard about this news and has even shared an article to Duterte fan page “We Support PDU30 Administration,” claiming that China has “confirmed” that Aquino and Trillanes indeed sold Scarborough Shoal to them.
An even wider search on Facebook helped us find several fan pages sharing the same article even after the July 12 ruling.
Facebook page “President Duterte Supporters Worldwide” shared the article last November 1, 2016 and it has since gained over 2,700 shares and 2,000 reactions, with many of the almost 300 comments showing that they believed in the article’s claims.
The same article was also shared by Facebook pages “Chief “Bato” Dela Rosa Supporters” and “Duterte for Better Philippines,” among others, with their posts gaining 860 and 557 shares, respectively, as of writing.
The articles published by pinoyspeak.info, which in Meme Buster’s list of fake news and satire sites, and newsfileph.com, are exact copies of each other. But further research revealed that these blogs simply copied the article off a Reuters report, except for the first paragraph.
The Reuters article talked about President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China. Although it touched on how Duterte said that he would raise the issue of the Scarborough Shoal to China through negotiation, not confrontation, the nowhere in the article was it mentioned that China confirmed Aquino and Trillanes sold the disputed territory to their country.
This is simply another case of the blogs of slapping the wrong, irrelevant title to an article to mislead readers. Judging by the comments on the Facebook posts of the fan pages, they were successful in duping their followers.
It should be noted that it was Aquino who brought China to court in order to claim the West Philippine Sea.
Sources: (philstar.com, uk.reuters.com)
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