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Busted: PH most corrupt Asian nation in 2015? It’s a plagiarized version of a 2007 NY Times article

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An article touting Philippines as the most corrupt country in Asia, according to New York Times, has been circulating online. And this particular Facebook post claimed that once the administration changes this July 1, 2016, “the Philippines will be the least corrupt country in the world!”

Most Corrupt Asian Nation

The link in the post leads to an article in a viral news site, but further checking revealed so much more behind this article. Did the Philippines really rank as the most corrupt Asian country in 2015?

Well, we found an Inquirer article that can give us a better understanding of this issue.

It turned out that the article claiming the Philippines as the most corrupt among Asian countries in 2015 was written by a certain Timothy Walker for his site, PhilippinesLifestyle.com, on August 15, 2015.

However, there were noticeable similar lines that you can find between Walker’s article and a New York Times article published on March 3, 2007, entitled “Philippines most corrupt, survey says,” written by Carlos H. Conde.

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Walker wrote:

“Under the shadow of a new survey, the New York Times considers the Philippines as the most corrupt country in the Asian region. The survey released on Tuesday said that Singapore ranked as one of the least corrupt of the 13 Asian economies surveyed – the second least corrupt was Hong Kong and the third was Japan.

This is almost similar to this paragraph from Conde’s article:

Expatriate businessmen in Asia perceive the Philippines as the most corrupt country in the region, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Singapore was ranked as the least corrupt of the 13 economies surveyed, followed by Hong Kong and Japan, according to the annual corruption survey conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, based in Hong Kong.

Walker’s article also copied this off Conde’s article:

“The Philippines has the distinction of being perceived in the worst light this year,” the survey stated. “People are just growing tired of the inaction and insincerity of leading officials when they promise to fight corruption.”

Walker simply changed the placement of some words.

However, the most significant change that Walker did to make his article appear like the survey was made in 2015 instead of in 2007 was when he wrote this paragraph:

“In all, the survey was conducted in over a two month period at the beginning of 2015 and questioned 1,476 expat executives in the 13 countries and territories throughout Asia.

The Philippines scored 9.40 out of 10 on corruption, giving it the number one spot.

In 2006, the same survey gave the most corrupt nation to Indonesia – in that same year, the Philippines scored a 7.80 – Indonesia was still high in corruption in 2015 with an overall score of 8.03.

The survey however said that the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia were systematic in corruption saying in fact they were all just about as bad as one another.”

But this is just a rehash of what Conde wrote in 2007:

“The survey, conducted in January and February, queried 1,476 expatriate executives in 13 countries and territories in Asia. The Philippines scored 9.40, where a score of zero is the least corrupt and 10 is the most corrupt.

In the 2006 survey, in which Indonesia was regarded as the most corrupt, the Philippines scored 7.80. Indonesia improved its score to 8.03 this year, a development that the report credits to a government anti-corruption campaign.

The report noted, however, that for the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, where corruption is systemic, “it is really splitting hairs to say which one has a worse problem.”

The rest of Walker’s article is almost similar Conde’s article.

The Inquirer also pointed out Forbes contributor Ralph Jennings’ article posted on March 2, 2015, entitled “Why Graft Is Declining In The Notoriously Corrupt Philippines.”

The article wrote how corruption is declining in the Philippines, with a Barclays regional economist in Singapore, commenting on how “systems and processes have become more transparent,” which have been shown in government projects.

Based on interviews with trade experts and business executives, the article attributed the improvement in the issue of the corruption more to the use of social media than to Aquino, though, who some netizens were quick to blame when Walker’s article came out. It said that with social media and smartphone cameras, it is easier for people to expose things, including the politicians’ dirty laundry.

And according to Asian Correspondent’s article “Singapore remains least corrupt country in Asia; NKorea most corrupt” that was posted on January 27, 2016, it’s not the Philippines that was most corrupt. This is based on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2015 of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. The ranking is based on the perception of corruption, not the actual corruption in a country that is “impossible to quantify.”

Globally, Singapore ranked 8th, while the Philippines ranked 95th. North Korea, Asia’s most corrupt, ranked 167th place around the world, the same ranking it held in 2014.

With reported improvement in the corruption problem in the Philippines and the CPI showing North Korea as the most corrupt Asian nation and the fact that Walker plagiarized that his article to make it seem like the survey was conducted in 2015, Walker’s article should be ignored, despite it being picked up by so many viral news sites and shared over and over again on Facebook by users who don’t bother verifying their sources.

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Busted

Busted: Sanofi Pasteur R&D revealed they used embalming chemicals in making Dengvaxia? It’s a made-up story!

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Sanofi Pasteur’s lead researcher allegedly made a shocking revelation about how three chemicals used in making the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia are used for embalming,

Naturally, the netizens were shocked and angered by the ‘revelation’ in the articles published by Okd2.com and other sites have. They reacted the same way when the story was shared by Facebook pages “WBP We Blog Ph” and “Okd2.”

But the Okd2 story “Sanofi Pasteur Releases Another Shocking Revelation About Dengvaxia” was actually classified as “Humor & Satire,” which meant that it should not be taken seriously.

The website talked about how the lawmakers grilled Sanofi Pasteur Asia Pacific head Thomas Triomphe, after which the company’s Research and Development director and lead researcher Bernard Dubois revealed to Agence France-Presse that Dengvaxia contains chemicals used for embalming, such as formaldehyde, ethanol, and glutaraldehyde.

Dubois was quoted saying the following:

“These solvents are necessary to make dengvaxia more stable and can be stored in long durations.”

“Dead people who have taken dengvaxia vaccine when they were still alive may not need to get embalmed as the chemicals will only become stronger inside their body once they are dead. This may not happen otherwise for people who have strong immune system.”

Dubois allegedly said that Sanofi observed how 68 of the 89 dead bodies of vaccinated children in Nigeria did not decompose after five days. He was said to have added that despite Dengvaxia’s license, it still requires more research, especially where its side effects and stability are concerned.

Some netizens seemed to have bought the story.

But Sanofi Pasteur or any of their executives did not make any statement about Dengvaxia containing embalming chemicals or how Nigerian kids’ corpses were studied for side effects after they were vaccinated. Okd2 meant the story to be “satirical” and those statements allegedly uttered by the pharmaceutical company’s lead researcher were all made-up.

Nigeria was not even one of the countries that approved Dengvaxia. The vaccine was approved in 11 countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, Paraguay, Costa Rica, and Peru.

In the Senate hearing on Dengvaxia on December 13, Triomphe was made to apologize for the “confusion” created by Sanofi’s advisory.

“I am sorry if this has created confusion, and this is why I would like to clarify… to make sure that people can understand that there is no need to panic,” Triomphe said.

Sources: ( thehindu.comgmanetwork.comcnnphilippines.com )

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Busted

Busted: Trillanes’ wife DID NOT beat him for spending time with De Lima but netizens still bought this LIE!

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Marcos Facebook fan page “Kilusang Bagong Lipunan” has shared yet another fake story claiming that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was beaten by his wife for allegedly getting involved with Senator Leila De Lima.

In its caption, the fan page seemed to believe in the lie claimed by the story and wanted its followers to do the same too as it said: “Tatoo ba eto si Trilliones binanatan ng asawa niya dahil pinaghihinalaan may relation sila ni Delima. Aba ang saba may bagong papa ang maingay na aso ng yellow zombies.”

Trillanes-wife-1

And the fan page succeeded, based on the comments on the post and the fact that it has been shared over 1,200 times.

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Trillanes beaten up by his wife

It is easy to tell just how fake this story is by just looking at its source, the fake news site thet1mes.com.

Trillanes beaten up by his wife

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Trillanes was said to have been nursing injuries after the beating he received from his wife on February 19. At least the article got the name of the senator’s wife right, Arlene Orejana. However, the rest of the story was made up, as it claimed that the wife accused Trillanes of “infidelity,” leading her to assault him in their home in Caloocan City. The couple was then said to have gone to the Caloocan City Police Station claiming injuries, although the case was transferred to the Manila police station. The domestic scuffle was said to have been under investigation.

There are no reports about Trillanes being assaulted by his wife. It is all a product of the imagination of the people behind the hoax-making website thet1mes.com.

Meme Buster has debunked a lot of hoaxes from the said site, including stories about Queen Elizabeth II hinting that former US President Barack Obama is scared of Duterte, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing De Lima, Russian President Vladimir Putin telling human rights group to ‘keep off PH affair,’ and more.

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Lies

Busted: Netizen debunks claim of Marcos gold reserves and how his supporters claimed it isn’t ill-gotten wealth

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Facebook page “Bring back the glory of our nation. Ferdinand Marcos JR for President” claimed that the Philippines is one of the richest countries in the world and shared an article sharing a “shocking fact” about the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ gold reserves.

Marcos Gold Reserves

The link that was shared led us to a blog site, sangkayrealnews, which told what it claimed to be the real story about the Marcos gold – that it is not ill-gotten wealth. Marcos allegedly earned it because as a young lawyer.

Marcos Gold Reserves

Prince Julian Macleod Tallano, a member of the Filipino royal family, allegedly lent 640,000 metric tons of gold to Pope Pius XII in 1934. It was then returned to the Philippines after World War II and Marcos allegedly helped in the transaction, earning him a 30% commission worth 192,000 tons of gold, estimated to be $4 trillion in 2006. The gold was deposited to the newly founded Central Bank with a lease that would expire on December 31, 2005. The Tallano clan said to have entrusted their gold to a certain Fr. Jose Antonio Diaz, who hired Marcos.

Upon the gold’s return to the Philippines from the Vatican, it was even said to have been received by then Congressman Manuel Acuna Roxas, Bishop Enrique Sobrepena, and Atty. Lorenzo Tañada.

To cut the story short, it claimed that after Diaz died in 1974, all 30% of the commission became the Marcos gold. But on top of that, the story also claimed that the Philippine government has failed to acknowledge the existence of the gold and have kept it a secret from the Filipino people.

We also found another story about the Marcos gold, this time, it was shared by another Marcos fan page, “Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.”

Marcos Gold Reserves

The link contained a short YouTube video entitled “MUST WATCH: Shocking Fact About the Gold Reserves of Ferdinand Marcos Revealed!”

Marcos Gold Reserves

The video is merely a narration about how Marcos has tons of gold from the Tallano stash, how the Philippines would become one of the richest countries in the world if the gold currency is revived. A certain Karen Hudes was also mentioned and how former US President George W. Bush said that the Philippines is the richest country in the world, “with a clear smile on his face.”

We looked for other videos about Hudes and Marcos gold and stumbled upon one that is almost an hour and a half long.

Based on the introduction made about her by a Nexus Magazine editor, Hudes claimed to have worked for the World Bank as a legal counsel from 1996 to 2007, but was fired from her job after she reported about the takeover in the national bank in the Philippines.

It should be noted that Nexus Magazine, an Australian based bi-monthly magazine that covers alternative news, something that the “mainstream media choose to ignore.”

According to Hudes, the world has 1,750,000 metric tons.

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Where is it now? This is what Hudes had to say during a glimpse of the first five minutes of the video:

“It’s in a special trust account that was setup by Ferdinand Marcos. He was doing this as a young lawyer for Jose Rizal, who had been in the Vatican for many years.  Jose Rizal was the son of Prince Tallano, who was a twin of Queen Victoria. The royals have kept the world’s gold for themselves and then it was stolen from them by the banks. And what happened is Prince, uh, Jose Rizal didn’t like what he saw at the Vatican and so he came back to the Philippines with the Vatican’s gold. Vatican sent the gold to the Philippines for safekeeping and what Jose Rizal did was he locked that gold up in a trust account for 50 years. And the thing about a trust account for 50 years is if you say you own something and you haven’t managed to get control of it, after 50 years, you’ve lost it under something called the statute of limitations. So that gold went into hiding for 50 years and those 50 years ended in 2005 but we didn’t manage to get our gold out and the reason why is because the banks refused. The man who’s the authorized signature authority, you’ll see a little clip of him, that’s Wolfgang Struck, he kept writing to the banks, saying I have the right to withdraw the money. I have the right to find out how much money it is now because it’s been accruing interest and the banks wouldn’t give him the time of day…”

And her lecture continues with over an hour.

However, if you know your history, you’d know how impossible it is for Ferdinand Marcos to serve as lawyer for Jose Rizal, who died on December 30, 1896, when Marcos wasn’t even born yet. The late dictator was born on September 11, 1917.

Hudes also claimed that Rizal had the gold locked up for 50 years, a lease that was said to have expired in 2005. But how could Rizal have set up that lease when he died in 1896? If the expiry was set in 2005, then the lease should have been set up in 1955!

But netizen Bernard Ong has a response to all of these claims about the Marcos gold. He said there was no Maharlika, no Vatican loan, not enough ships and trucks for gold shipment, no Hitler gold for Yamashita, no Southeast Asian gold, no legitimate Marcos gold, not enough gold in the world, but yes, Marcos did steal from the Filipinos.

 

Sources: (youtube.combbc.com, facebook.com, nexusmagazine.com)

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