Busted: Duterte supporter ranting over altered headline involving Roxas, Yolanda funds

A Facebook user ranted on Facebook over a screengrab with the headline “Belmonte: There’s nothing wrong to use Yolanda aid for Roxas’ campaigning.”

Roxas Yolanda Funds

The screengrab was first posted on May 4 by a pro-Duterte Facebook page, Rodrigo Duterte Lines.

Facebook user Joyce Legaspi Tonido then brought one of the presidential candidates, Mar Roxas, and his request for an extension of the deadline for the submission of the statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE), speculating that the delay could have been due to the lengthy time Roxas’ camp needed to create false documents for his SOCE.

But Tonido seems to have refused to learn one of the lessons that the brutal 2016 election campaign has taught us – headlines from major newspapers and online news sites can be easily altered on Facebook.


Meme Buster has already covered this technique often employed by trolls before as they switch the news article’s original article to mislead readers, especially those who are too lazy to click on the link and read the content itself. Any Facebook page admin can do the switch and change the title to any title that they like.

Tonido also failed to grasp the importance of reading the content of the article, choosing to curse and malign people instead just by looking at the headline, more so a screengrab of a headline in her case.

We searched for similar headlines on Facebook and it did not come as a surprise that we found another one shared on a pro-Duterte Facebook page.

Roxas Yolanda Funds

But if Tonido and the other Duterte supporters could have taken the time to click on the link of the Inquirer article, she could have discovered that the real headline of the article is, ‘Wrong to fault Mar for Yolanda housing,’ published on September 6, 2015.

The Inquirer article is about Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte explaining why Roxas should not be blamed for the emergency shelter assistance (ESA) program for the Yolanda survivors because as Roxas has said before, it was a program supervised by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Belmonte, who visited Western Visayas with Roxas a few days before this issue popped up, sent a text message to the Inquirer.

“It really amazes me how simple words and straightforward circumstances can be spun. In the interest of fair play, I humbly request that my statement be published. I think it was unfair that he was asked questions on projects that were not his turf. It would have been improper for him to comment on a matter that was outside his mandate,” Belmonte said in his statement.

As rants like Tonido’s continue to pop up online, the following lessons should be kept in mind – let’s not react unless we’ve read the content of the article, let’s not rant based on the headline alone, and let’s be vigilant in verifying our sources and the headlines because FAKES and MISLEADING headlines and articles are everywhere.


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