Some Facebook fan pages are all praises for President Rodrigo Duterte for his intelligence and good leadership skills while sharing the story about how the American government gave the Philippine Army 114 tanks.
The admins of the fan pages wrote “Iba talaga kapag matalino at mahusay ang Pangulo… 114 Tangke De Giyera, Ibinigay ng Amerika para sa Philippine Army!Kahit pinaglumaan na ito ay malaking bagay na ito para sa ating kasundaluan!!SALAMAT po!!”
The story was shared by fan pages, such as “Digong Bato Para sa Pagbabago,” “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters,” “Tulfo Brother News,” “President Rodrigo Duterte Movement in the Philippines,” “Pinoy News Huddle,” and “Pres. Rody Duterte “Partner for Change,”” among others.
But it turned out the story was also shared by other Facebook pages in February and June this year, declaring it as good news that they claimed to have recently came out. It was posted on Facebook by pages including “Tatay Digong – Unofficial,” “Pres. Rody Duterte Worldwide Supporters,” and “Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.”
However, the same Facebook search also revealed that the story was actually reported in February 2016 by ABS-CBN News.
According to the report, the US government gave the Philippine Army 114 APCs (Armed Personnel Carriers), which can carry soldiers in and out of war while providing them protection. They were first used by America during Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait in the 1990s but were never used again. They gave it to the Philippines as part of the American government’s Excess Defense Articles program.
In February 2016, then Army spokesman Col. Benjamin Hao said the vehicles will “enhance our speed and our personnel protection and even our firepower.”
The APCs reportedly arrived in the Philippines in two batches – the first batch of 77 vehicles arrived on December 9, 2015 while the second batch of 37 units arrived on December 14. They were formally turned over to the Philippine Army’s Mechanized Infantry Division on February 4, 2016.
This meant that unlike how the fan pages made this news story seem like it was a recent one, what with them saying “Kapapasok lang na balita,” the story is actually an old one that was recycled.
Some netizens called out the fan pages for sharing this piece of old news, but others still fell for the recycled news and thanked the current US President Donald Trump.
It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte himself said that his administration will reject secondhand military equipment from other countries.
Meme Buster also debunked old stories that were deliberately recycled by some blogs and Facebook pages, such as those about the surrender of 154 NPA rebels that actually happened in 2015, Senator Antonio Trillanes arrested for libel, and Duterte being photographed in flooded street after a typhoon.