Busted: Mocha compared ‘Duterte-Obama handshake’ headlines on different dates. Did she even read the content?

Mocha Uson slammed ABS-CBN for ‘making up an issue’ about US President Barack Obama not shaking Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s hands.

Uson, a Die-hard Duterte Supporter (DDS), compared ABS-CBN’s headline “’No Duterte-Obama handshake at East Asia Summit’” with The Washington Post’s headline of “Obama: I did shake hands with President Duterte.”

In her Facebook post, she asked ABS-CBN to explain. “Gawa gawa kayo ng issue ayan tuloy sobrang napaghahalataan na kayo. Pati ba naman pag shake hands? Ibalita niyo na din kung kung ano pinakain kay PDuterte baka panis din? #journalistpamore,” Uson wrote.

Duterte Obama Handshake

We checked the news articles Uson was referring to in her post and found out that she simply compared the headlines without checking the dates and the content of the news articles.

It is true that Obama did shake hands with Duterte, but that handshake and the ‘brief interaction’ they had happened on September 7, before the ASEAN gala dinner. The handshake between both leaders came after Duterte threatened to curse Obama if the US President would ask him about the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines.

In a Rappler report, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said that the meeting happened at the holding room before the dinner. “They met at the holding room and they were the last people to leave the holding room. I can’t say how long they met,” Yasay told reporters.

As to what the leaders talked about, TIME quoted Duterte clarifying his profane remarks to Obama: “President Obama, I’m President Duterte. I never made that statement, check it out.”

On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s report about Obama not shaking Duterte’s hand happened at the East Asia Summit on September 8. It was also the last day of the summit.

According to ABS-CBN, a source present at the summit saw the snub. This came after Duterte slammed the Americans again for the US military killings in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War.

Even Duterte himself confirmed that he showed “pages of pictures in the pacification campaign by the Americans at the turn of the century,” as reported by the Inquirer.


The source said Obama shook each leader’s hand at the summit, except Duterte’s.

Yasay tried to downplay the snub as he told reporters that there was no time for Obama to shake Duterte’s hands because the latter had to leave the conference to meet with Russia for bilateral talks. When he got back to the conference, Obama had left.

If Uson had read ABS-CBN’s report, she would have understood beyond what the headlines were saying as the article said, “All these after Obama and Duterte’s cordial encounter at the ASEAN gala dinner.”

She could have easily verified the schedules of the events during the ASEAN Summit by simply Googling about Duterte’s schedule, as Rappler reported here.

Reading the article would have saved her the confusion, especially after Yasay’s confirmation that Obama did not shake hands with Duterte after the talk on the US military killings.

Or did she read the content but still compared the headlines of the events occurring on different dates to mislead her followers?

To clarify the sequence of events:

September 5 – Before leaving for Laso, Duterte said nobody has the right to lecture him and even threatened to curse Obama, or whoever would question him about human rights. Upon arriving in Laos, Duterte regretted his “strong comments” against Obama.

September 7 – Malacañang officials said that Duterte and Obama shook hands and talked briefly at a holding room before the ASEAN gala dinner.

September 8 – Obama held a press conference in Vientiane, Laos, when he confirmed about his handshake and brief interaction with Duterte and how he did not take Duterte’s profane remarks personally. The Washington Post published the portion of Obama talking about his short meeting with Duterte on September 8 at 5:40am, but the East Asia Summit, where Duterte talked about the US military killings was scheduled from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Right after this summit, Obama reportedly did not shake Duterte’s hands, something that Yasay confirmed.

Duterte Obama Handshake

Duterte Obama Handshake

Sources: (,,,,,

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