President Rodrigo Duterte visited Marawi City for the third time on August 24 decked in full battle gear. He was even reported to have taken a soldier’s position and shoot twice at Maute targets, according to military officers, although it was later clarified by Malacañang that Duterte did not have a live target when he fired a sniper rifle.
Facebook page Legal Army Wives tried to take President Duterte’s role during his Marawi visit to the troops to a much higher level by putting his face onto the body of an elite French soldier also dressed in full battle gear.
Legal Army Wives’ post now looks like this, with a disclaimer that Duterte was indeed photoshopped in the photo and that despite the edited photo in the album, it could not deny the President’s love for the Filipino troops.
“His first photo maybe photoshopped but his love for our state troops hails utmost authenticity! Dumb critics sees his photoshopped photo, not his ultimate goals setting foot at danger zone,” the page said.
The Facebook page even dared anti-Duterte netizens to attack the page over the photoshopped photo and declined to delete the photo because “only the dumbest critics” would want it removed.
Note how Legal Army Wives urged one of the commenters to “read the caption” first before reacting to the inclusion of the photoshopped photo in the album. The commenter was simply concerned about posting only an “accurate photo” of Duterte to avoid getting ridiculed.
We heeded his call to read the caption, but we also looked at the post’s Edit History. We found out that the first two posts on August 26 at 1:09 am and 1:29 am did not have a disclaimer that the first photo was edited.
The page only included the disclaimer about the photoshopped Duterte photo in the third version of the caption that was edited on August 26 at 9:51am, over 8 hours since the photos were uploaded, which said, “His first photo maybe photoshopped but his love for our state troops hails utmost authenticity!”
The fourth edit also included the words “PHOTOSHOPPED, YES” on the second line of the caption.
The fifth edit corrected that second line and changed it into, “PDUTERTE IN PHOTOSHOPPED PHOTO!” while the sixth and last edit added this new sentence to the last part of the caption: “Dumb critics sees his photoshopped photo, not his ultimate goals setting foot at danger zone.”
Another Facebook user shared the same photos uploaded by the Legal Army Wives, including the photoshopped photo of the President. When asked to stop spreading the said photo to avoid getting criticized as “fake news,” the FB user simply said, “Ok lang sir.. Pang goodvibes.”
Facebook page Philippines Defense Forces Forum called out those who spread the edited photo.
“Photo widely circulated by Duterte supporters as the president “leading the way” in Marawi City is actually a photo of a squad from the French Army’s storied Chasseurs Alpins, an elite infantry regiment trained to operate in mountain and urban terrains,” the page wrote.
And it’s true!
This is not the first time the Philippines Defense Forces Forum corrected the misinformed post of the Legal Army Wives. The former also corrected the latter’s post about the AFP Mobile Kitchen, which was thought to be from Duterte when it was in fact donated by South Korea to the AFP after Yolanda. Just like in this case with the photoshopped Duterte photo, Legal Army Wives also edited its caption to thank South Korea after being called out for its misleading post.