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Busted: Thanks to Duterte, Mary Jane Veloso could possibly go home soon? It’s fake news!

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Some Filipinos may have found a ray of hope when TV50 (tv50.website) published an article saying convicted drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso will be pardoned and will go home soon. According to the story, Indonesian President Joko Widodo allegedly said that “a Filipina in death row will be included in the next list of parolee”.

Quoting an alleged report from Jakarta Chronicle, the story reported that 12 death row convicts would be given presidential pardon in January and among these is a Filipina arrested for drug trafficking.

But the story’s claims are dubious, not to mention how one of the sites that carried the story have posted false stories in the past.

MemeBuster has busted stories published by TV50.website, including Sen. Bam Aquino’s alleged proposal to issue passports to Filipinos after high school graduation, and Renato Reyes calling fellow smokers to boycott and rally against Philip Morris. We also spotted it carrying the fake story about Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly saying “human rights are for humans, not for animals.”

Extinguishing the spark that the news story may have ignited in some Filipinos’ hearts, Veloso remains in the death row. Her family in the Philippines even expressed sadness when she celebrated her 33rd birthday alone in prison as they were not able to visit her in Indonesia last January 10.

In an interview with Rappler, Veloso’s parents expressed sadness that they were not able to see their daughter because they were not given permission to fly to Indonesia.

Contrary to the claims of TV50, there was no agreement between the Philippine and Indonesian governments to free Veloso in exchange for Indonesian detainees in the country. The Veloso family even asked for President Rodrigo Duterte to help release their daughter.

For her part, Veloso also pleaded for President Duterte’s help so she can testify in the case of Christina Sergio to unravel the truth behind her case. According to reports, the Court of Appeals released a decision affirming the injunction of Veloso’s testimony. This stops her from testifying against her recruiters.

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It was expected that Duterte and Widodo would meet in April 2017 to talk about Veloso’s case. While the two heads of state talked about working together to counter terrorism and narcotics, the case of Veloso was not discussed during their expanded bilateral meeting, as reported by The Manila Times.

Dutere said in September 2017 that he did not include Veloso’s case in his discussion with Widodo because he said “it would have been a bad taste in the mouth to be talking about – having a strong posture against drugs, and here you are begging for something.”

TV50 clarified in the story that it published that the reports they received were mainly rumors that are not yet verified. Ironically, in the same breathe, it cites the report by the Indonesian paper as a “development of the case”. A simple search however reveals Jakarta Chronicles only exists as a tag and not a legitimate or independent news agency.

Janice Belca, the author of the news story also appears to be fictitious.

Even the story’s dates don’t match. It was published by TV50 on January 25, 2018, but the last sentence of the story read, “Widodo’s announcement will be expected on the first week of January according to the report.” Obviously, the “first week of January” has already passed by the time the story was posted on the site.

We also found a huge chunk of the TV50 story to be copied off a Philippine Star article published on June 27, 2016, “Whatever happened to Mary Jane Veloso?

Unfortunately, the story still fooled some netizens, who rejoiced and even thanked President Duterte for helping Veloso. It was shared by Facebook pages “President Rodrigo Duterte” and “Unofficial: PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa” and by a netizen to Facebook group “President Rody Duterte Facebook Army.” It turned out that aside from TV50, the fake story was also carried by satireandhumor.altervista.org, weblogph.info, and localhero.altervista.org.

Sources: ( rappler.comcnnphilippines.commanilatimes.net )

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Busted

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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