After Supertyphoon Lawin (international name Haima) hit Northern Luzon on October 19, it came with winds similar to that of catastrophic Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013. It left 19 people dead in its wake, as of October 23’s reports, and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and crops, among others.
After Lawin, relief efforts started right away. The government is, of course, spearheading these efforts.
Several social media fan pages even posted photos of the relief efforts. But one of the most notable photos would actually be that photo of a few ladies carrying a sack of rice with a huge smile on their faces.
It was shared by some fan pages dedicated to President Rodrigo Duterte, the Marcoses, and even PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
We can’t help but notice how these pages all bear the same caption:
“Mga ka-DDS nagulat ako dito Grabe!! sako sakong bigas ang mga pinamimigay ng DSWD sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Lawin..
Samantalang noong bagyong Yolanda tig dadalawang kilo lang bawat pamilya, tipid na tipid si Dinky Soliman, salamat kay President Duterte dahil tapat sa tungkulin ang naipalit ngayon na secretary ng DSWD.. Pasalamatan natin si DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo..
Malayong malayo na talaga ang pinagkaiba ng dating administrasyon at sa kasalukuyang administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte.”
When we clicked the article posted by Du30newsinfo, we instead encountered a “404 Not Found.” We clicked on the other article posted by PinoySpeak and we found the same photo of the ladies carrying a huge sack of rice and a YouTube video of DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo speaking to the victims of Lawin in Tuguegarao. The photo was not seen in the video.
This wasn’t until twitter user @Simply_Clinton pointed out the original source of the photo.
“Sowing false propaganda again just to facelift the battered image of their lord,” he said in his Twitter post on October 23.
— Clinton Balud (@Simply_Clinton) October 23, 2016
We checked the article posted by Clinton and found out that the photo of the ladies with their sack of rice actually came from one of the articles on the website of Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines. The photo was included in their article “Rice relief transcends religious borders,” published on July 28, 2012.
And here is that photo of the rice-carrying ladies.
The sacks of rice were even donated by the Tzu Chi Foundation, not by the DSWD, as the captions earlier claimed.
Clinton was probably right in his accusation. By uploading that photo along with that caption, the Facebook fan pages were deliberately misinforming the people. They grabbed the credit from Tzu Chi’s good deed in 2012 and passed the photo off as a recent one just to praise the current administration.
Secretary Taguiwalo is so far doing a good job in handling the aftermath of Lawin, such as making full use of the modern repacking system installed in 2015 and ordering the release of the “emergency shelter assistance” (ESA) to help typhoon victims rebuild their homes. She, along with Duterte, was even photographed releasing P5,000 of initial cash aid to the victims, after which additional amount will be released once damaged houses are assessed by the DSWD. Please don’t ruin her and the agency’s accomplishments by spreading false information.
Camille Nepomuceno, the writer and photographer of the photo used by various social media pages to mislead people, addressed the issue involving the use of her photo without proper citation and with the wrong information.
Earlier, she called out several Duterte and Marcos fan pages for using her photo, calling them “cut and paste committee.”
Nepomuceno also addressed the admin of the fan pages she earlier called out, urging them to verify their facts and sources first. She added that it is their duty and responsibility to provide only verified information to their followers.
“You should never tell lies,” Nepomuceno said.
Be Informed. Beat the Trolls, Share the Truth!