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Busted: DTI defends Sen. Bam Aquino from Duterte supporters’ insinuations linking senator to terrorists in Marawi clash

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Several Duterte supporters, pro-Duterte Facebook support pages, and blogs brought up the fact that Senator Bam Aquino visited Marawi City days before the clash between the government troops and members of the Maute group.

Facebook user Maharlika, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters, asked if dealing with terrorists is one of the agenda of Sen. Aquino’s visit in Marawi City, where he opened a “negosyo center.”

“Tatlong araw bago ang pang gugulo ng mga terorista sa Marawi, pumunta pala doon si Bam Aquino para sa pagbukas ng negosyo center doon. Ang tanong? Kasama kaya ang pakikipag negosyo niya sa mga terorista?” Maharlika wrote on Facebook on May 24, with a screenshot of Aquino’s May 21 post describing his visit to Marawi City.

DTI defends Sen. Bam Aquino

Another Facebook user also asked if Aquino had a “meeting with the Maute Rebels before the Marawi City attack?” He also insinuated that the senator even changed escorts from Iligan City to Marawi City and reminded his followers that the former Senator Ninoy Aquino was one of the founders of CPP-NPA.

DTI defends Sen. Bam Aquino

Other pro-Duterte support pages on Facebook echoed the same question. These include pages such as “Pres. Duterte ang Agila ng Davao,” “Duterte Tapang at Malasakit 2017,”Rodrigo Duterte News,” “Hi Duterte,” “PRRD News,” “Pres. Rody Duterte Worldwide Supporters,” “Dugong Maharlika,” “Duterte News Global,” and more. These pages’ posts have already gained thousands of shares.

Blog posts about Aquino’s suspected link to the terrorists in Marawi City went viral.

On May 25, Sen. Aquino’s official Facebook page posted that he did visit Marawi City last week to open the 508th Negosyo Center in the country and the first one in the ARMM.

In that same post, Facebook user JC Perez asked if the rumors are true about how Aquino changed security escorts going to Marawi City and if he met other groups aside from the Go Negosyo people.

The handler of the senator’s account then replied, “Hi JC, Sen. Bam had AFP escort althroughout the trip, they never left his side. But the PNP was changed from PNP Iligan to PNP ARMM at the border, which is standard protocol when entering a new territory or jurisdiction. Please don’t believe the false news going around. The Marawi crisis should not be used for partisan politics. We need to unite for our country. [Team Bam]”

DTI defends Sen. Bam Aquino

However, the Department of Trade and Industry came to Sen. Aquino’s defense against the “false news and reports.”

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“The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would just like to state the fact that Sen. Bam Aquino, along with our stakeholders in the military, the business sector and the local government, were in Marawi to attend the launch of ARMM’s first Negosyo Center in Marawi, the 508th Negosyo Center in the country,” said DTI in a Facebook Note.

DTI noted how Aquino is the author of the Go Negosyo Law.

“Sen. Bam is the author of the Go Negosyo Law that directed the DTI to establish Negosyo Centers in all municipalities, to give micro and small entrepreneurs access to entrepreneurship education, mentorship, money and market.”

DTI called the spread of misinformation about Aquino’s visit to Marawi “unfortunate” and urged everyone not to spread lies and conspiracies that may only worsen the situation.

“It is unfortunate that his visit is now the subject of false news and reports. We call on our countrymen, during this time in crisis, not resort to spreading lies and conspiracies as these may worsen the situation,” DTI said.

“Sen. Bam has been our partner in empowering the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector for years, from his time as a social entrepreneur until he was elected senator,” DTI wrote.

DTI also encouraged everyone to “unite” for the Philippines and against common enemies, while expressing their thoughts and prayers for the Philippine soldiers fighting the terrorists in Marawi City.

Facebook user Apple Allison, who disclosed that she is indeed a supporter of the senator, said that it doesn’t make sense for Aquino to visit Marawi City and meet with the “rebels” without even doing it discreetly, seeing as how he even dined out and had his pictures taken.

“Come on Facebook people!!! Really?!!! Why can’t we set aside politics and work as one for our nation! Tama na muna ang mga “drawing” at “coloring” na yan!” Allison wrote.

“Hayyyy nakakaloka!!! My point is, ang bobo naman ni Bam if pumunta sya ng Mindanao at makikipagmeeting sya sa mga rebelde tapos hindi man lang discreet, tapos may gana pang mag dine out and allow photo ops!!! Kung ako kasi sya, if may ganoon talagang meeting eh para akong si Joaquin at Verna, un sa hideout nalang magmemeeting at hindi magpapakita in any public place,” Allison added.

Sen. Aquino released a statement about the clash in Marawi City, urging people to set politics aside and focus on the safety and welfare of the affected residents in Marawi.

“Right now, ang pinakamahalaga po ngayon ay matigil na itong bakbakan, masugpo ang teroristang grupo at maprotektahan ang ating mga kababayan,” said Sen. Aquino on the declaration of Martial Law.

He also called the situation in Marawi city “heartbreaking.”

“Everybody was so hopeful na ang pagtulak ng pagnenegosyo at trabaho, could really lead to peace. Kaya talagang heartbreaking itong nangyayarin ito,” he added.

“Iyong mga kasama namin na militar, negosyante at local government officials, lahat nagsabi na ang pagtutulak ng mas magagandang trabaho at pagkakataong magnegosyo sa mga kapatid nating Muslim will eventually lead to peace,” said Aquino.

Sources: ( philstar.com , facebook.com , bamaquino.com )

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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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Busted: Hollywood actor laughed at Robredo for copying his Independence Day movie speech? It’s fake news!

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After Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent “Free the Courts” speech at UP Diliman on May 7, articles abound about how a Hollywood actor laughed at her for copying his speech in a movie.

Actor Bill Pullman, who played the role of a fictional US president in the movie Independence Day, allegedly laughed at the Philippine VP for copying the speech he made during the movie. This is according to the May 8 story on the blog philippineinsidernews.blogspot.com.

The story was also picked up by other blogs, such as balita1.altervista.org, weblogph.tk, and realspotnews.info and shared by Facebook pages, such as Philippine News Courier, Trending News Today, and Like for Donations, among others.

Based on these stories online, Pullman was said to have reacted to a meme made by blogger RJ Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, comparing Pullman’s character’s speech and Robredo’s speech. The actor was shown to have tweeted his reaction to TP’s meme, saying “Creative and very well done. Gave me a good laught this morning.” It was also time-stamped “20m,” marking that the screenshot was made 20 minutes after the tweet went live.

While the time-stamp made it seem like Pullman’s alleged tweet was made recently, it actually wasn’t. The text in Pullman’s tweet that was used in the story above was real, but he posted that tweet in reaction to a completely different thing, not Robredo’s speech. He tweeted that on February 22, 2018 when he reacted to a YouTube video “Lone Starr A Spaceballs TEASER. – Han Solo a Star Wars Story Style.”

But the misleading story did not end there! It even had a Part Two bearing the title “Robredo Won’t Apologize for Copying Bill Pullman Speech at Independence Day Movie” published on May 9 by the same blog, philippineinsidernews.blogspot.com.

In this story, statements were attributed to Robredo’s spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, who allegedly reacted to Pullman’s reaction to Robredo’s speech.

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“The OVP [Office of the Vice President] categorically deny allegations that VP Leni Robredo copied her recent speech from the movie Independence Day. The message might be the same, but the difference in words is very obvious. The vice president also spoke from her heart, and there was no prepared speech for her.”

“The vice president believes that the accusation is only a strategy of her critics to divert the public’s attention from the real issue. It is very clear that the present administration is doing everything to silent its critics, and is using the Constitution in the wrong way. Therefore, the vice president needs to fight against the dictatorship.”

But in Rappler’s fact-checking report, Hernandez denied making the statements above.

“Those statements did not come from me. Definitely fake news,” she said in a text message to Rappler.

While there are similarities in Robredo’s speech and Pullman’s speech while playing his character in the movie, Pullman did not make a reaction over this. His February 2018 tweet was edited to mislead people. Robredo, unlike the claims of the second part of the story, also did not react to this fake news involving Pullman.

This is not the first fake story that the Facebook page Philippine News Courier has helped spread on social media. The said page also shared the fake stories about the late Playboy founder Hugh Heffner donating $5 million to Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, the Supreme Court ordering Kris Aquino to return Imelda Marcos’ diamond necklace, former Senator Bongbong Marcos leading over Robredo by 1,786 votes in the first week of the VP vote recount, and more. The page is also associated to the fake news site philnewscourier.blogspot.com.

Sources: ( www.rappler.comtwitter.com )

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