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Busted: Korean embassy slammed Aguirre for making “misleading statements” about Korean mafia

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During the February 13 Senate probe into the kidnapping-murder case of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told the Senate panel about the presence of the Korean mafia in the Philippines and how this criminal group may have “compromised” some people at the Korean embassy.

Aguirre’s “misleading” claims

“We have this theory that he had an enemy inside the Korean mafia, and they hired the scalawags of our police agencies from the PNP and NBI to in Mr. Jee Ick Joo. (And really) from the looks of it, that’s what happened because you won’t kill someone right away in kidnap-for-ransom cases,” Aguirre said.

“Since I am not an investigator, we should pursue every theory of the case some people say this Jee Ick Joo refused to give money because there was nothing illegal in his business here in the country, which is to recruit Chinese workers,” Aguirre said of the answer Jee’s family gave him after asking them if the victim had fought with another Korean.

Aguirre also asked Jee’s wife whether her husband has rivals since he heard about Korean rivalries while he was serving as the legal counsel of the Clark Development Authority (CDC), which the wife denied.

Then, he claimed that the Korean embassy asked his office to stop investigating the Korean mafia.

“Sabi ko, hindi pa naman tayo tapos sa imbestigasyon, pero nagtataka ako kung bakit pinahihinto ang investigation,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre talked about Kang Tai Shik, who raised his curiosity because he was told a high ranking Duterte admin official that Kang trifled with the Philippine judicial system and the Bureau of Immigration, but has managed to remain in the Philippines “because he is able to pay the people around him, Filipino officials.” This was opposite to what the Korean embassy officials told him – that Kang is a “very reputable businessman and he has no derogatory record in the Korean embassy.”

After his meeting with the Korean embassy officials, Aguirre said he was told about the Korean mafia in the Philippines by a former NBI official and that’s when he threw his accusations at the Korean embassy.

“Even some people at the Korean embassy are compromised by this Korean mafia. And then we heard from Col. (Glenn) Dumlao that the people in this abduction are so big that mahihirapan tayo,” Aguirre said.

Korean Embassy’s official statement

The Korean embassy has immediately reacted to Aguirre’s accusations and denied that they asked the justice secretary to stop investigating the Korean mafia.

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The embassy called out Aguirre for making “misleading statements,” adding that his accusations and claim that the embassy tried to stop the probe into the mafia have tarnished the reputation of the Korean diplomats.

In the statement, the embassy conveyed how it “regrets very much that, based on wrong and unfounded information, Secretary Aguirre made some misleading statements involving so-called Korean mafia at the Senate hearing on February 23, 2017.”

The embassy also said that “the Embassy officials did not ask the Secretary to stop any investigations concerning the Korean mafia” and that it is “strongly distressed that this false information could tarnish its honor and reputation.”

The Korean embassy also summarized what occurred during the February 13 meeting between Aguirre and Jee’s widow, who was accompanied by the Korean Consul-General and a police attaché.” The embassy said that the justice secretary wanted to clarify Jee’s alleged connection with the Korean mafia.

The embassy said that its official and Jee’s wife said that Jee “lived an honest life as a conscientious businessman, having no connections at all with any malicious Korean persons.”

Jee’s widow also denied any claims about her husband having been kidnapped twice before. She also reportedly requested the NBI to stop participating in the joint investigation into her husband’s death to avoid further delays.

As for Aguirre’s questions about Kang Tai Shik, the embassy has already told him that “he is a long-established Korean businessman, who has nothing to do with Mr. Jee’s case.”

“Then, Secretary Aguirre promised that the DOJ would not pursue any longer the angle of possible linkage with a Korean mafia in its future investigations into the case,” the Korean embassy said, denying claims that officials have asked Aguirre to stop the probe.

The embassy also emphasized its confidence that “no official has been compromised by Korean mafia” and asked Aguirre for “concrete evidence” to support his claims.

The Korean embassy added that “it would take full responsibility for it, if any.”

Sources: (interaksyon.com , news.abs-cbn.com)

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Busted: Robredo wants to add years to the K-to-12 program? It’s fake news!

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Vice President Leni Robredo’s office released a statement debunking social media posts claiming that she wants to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program. This came after several posts started circulating about how Robredo allegedly said that she wanted to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program, angering netizens.

A certain tweet on March 1, 2020 showed the vice president’s photo along with these words: “Kulang ang K to 12 education system natin. Kelangan apat na taon sa Junior HS at apat na taon sa Senior HS.”

In January 17, the same image shared to the Facebook page “Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters” also got shared over 6,000 times and triggered negative comments among the netizens.

Many social media users have lambasted Robredo over the said meme.

The unwarranted bashing and adverse reactions prompted her office to release an official statement debunking this false claim.

“Hindi totoong pinadadagdagan ni VP Leni Robredo ang mga taon sa K-to-12 program,” said the vice president’s office in a statement.

“Suportado ng Bise Presidente kung sakaling magkaroon ng review ng nasabing programa. Binibigyang-diin niya na kailangang siguraduhin na may tamang facilities at equipment ang mga specialized tracks, para mas maging madali ang pagtuturo nito at matiyak ang kahandaang makapagtrabaho ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang pagtatapos,” it added.

In October 2019, Robredo did say that she was alright with reviewing how the K-to-12 program to determine how it could be further improved.

“Tumutugon rin ang kaniyang Tanggapan, kasama ang #AngatBuhay partners nito, sa pangangailangan ng tamang kagamitan. Nakapagbigay na ng kaukulang tools at equipment sa mga mahihirap na paaralan, gaya sa Mulanay sa Quezon, Panglao sa Bohol, at Sta. Maria sa Romblon,” the statement further said.

This is not the first time Robredo has been a victim of fake news. There were false claims, misleading headlines, and edited images or captions about how former Senator Bongbong Marcos has already won over Robredo, how she met former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, or how her portrait was sold on eBay, something that a popular blogger apologized for.

Sources: ( inquirer.net , news.mb.com.ph )

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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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