President Rodrigo Duterte paid his respects to the late king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, on November 9 before he went to Malaysia for his official visit. Duterte called the king “a true friend of the Philippines” and recalled how the king’s 1963 visit to the country “continues to resonate to this day.”
But now, it seemed like some people don’t want to end Duterte’s connection to the Thai people with his gesture of condoling with them after their king’s death. Articles claiming that the new Thai king calls Duterte “my father” have been circulating on Facebook.
Such articles have been shared by Facebook fan pages “Solid and Loyal DuterteCayetano for Federalism,” “Duterte Parallel Organization – Tagumpay ng Pagbabago,” and “Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.”
The articles were picked up viral-dutertenews.blogspot.com and trendingbalitaph.com, but they pointed to their source being the website philstar.i-telecast.com.
We looked the source up and found this.
According to the article, the new Thai king Maha Vajiralongkorn, who succeeded his father after seven decades, now refer to President Duterte as his father.
He was quoted saying, “Duterte is my father.”
The article also claimed that Duterte has been “instrumental” in raising him so he is willing to offer Duterte a seat in his palace as part of the counsel of elders. And the Philippine president allegedly thanked the Thai king for this honor.
However, the new Thai king has not said such a thing about Duterte. Just like how philstart.i-telecast.com totally invented that fake story about Senator Leila De Lima’s sister, Caroline, being arrested for drug trafficking in China, they also invented this story about Duterte being the Thai king’s father and being offered a position in Thailand’s Palace.
Duterte has spent the over two decades as Davao City mayor. But before that, he served as Davao special counsel before becoming an assistant city prosecutor in the late 1870s until the early 1980s. This contradicts how the article claimed that Duterte was “instrumental” to raising the now 64-year-old Thai king because Duterte spent his whole life as a public servant in Davao City, his hometown.
Yet, Duterte’s supporters, as per their comments, even congratulated Duterte. They probably only read the headline, or else they would have gotten confused too how Duterte was able to help “raise” the king of Thailand, as the article claimed.When one commenter asked just how true the article about Duterte and the Thai king is, another commenter cautioned her from sharing the fake news because it might send her to jail for 15 years.The commenter who responded cited “15 years for LM,” referring to Thailand’s royal defamation laws or lese-majeste laws. These are among the strictest in the world. It is based on Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code that states anyone who “defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent” will be punished for up to 15 years in prison. The warning from the commenter to those who are based in Thailand not to share this fake article involving the new Thai king does make sense now.
Again, reading the headline alone makes us all the more vulnerable to falling for fake news. If we don’t want to contribute to misinformation, let us take a few minutes to read the content of the article first and verify if it’s true or not, instead of taking a peek at the headline and reacting over it on social media, or worse, sharing it, further spreading the wrong information.
Be Informed. Beat the Trolls, Share the Truth!