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Hoax Alert

Busted: Meme of Telstra CEO promising cheaper, faster internet for PH this 2016 is a FAKE!



Talks about the possibility of Telstra finally offering their Internet services in the Philippines have come alive once again after President-elect Rodrigo Duterte warned telecommunication companies to provide Filipinos with faster Internet service, or he will open the telco market to foreign players.


“For the communication guys, iyong Internet connectivity, you improve the service or I will open the Philippines to competition. Pasok lahat. Then it will bring down [the price] and increase efficiency,” Duterte said.

This prompted Duterte supporters and several pro-Duterte Facebook pages to make Telstra-related posts, like this one below.

Duterte on Telstra

There was even a poll conducted online asking about whether Duterte should open a national broadband deal with Telstra, to which netizens responded with a resounding “YES.”

Duterte on Telstra

But it was already reported in March 2016 that San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has ended talks with Telstra over a possible telco venture in the Philippines.

According to Ramon Ang, SMC President and COO, both companies could not continue with the talks.

This news was confirmed by Telstra CEO Andrew “Andy” Penn.

“Despite enormous amount of effort and goodwill on all sides, we were simply unable to come to commercial arrangements that would have enabled us all to proceed,” Penn said in a statement coursed through the Australian Securities Exchange.

But this news of the failed talks with Telstra did not reach a few people who posted this photo on a pro-Duterte Facebook page.

Duterte on Telstra

Some of those who commented on the post were cheering Telstra on, commending this as great news, and hoping that the Australian Internet service provider would come to the Philippines. But others also pointed out what happened in March. There were even commenters who said the meme was a hoax.

Further digging led us to discover that the meme and the quote attributed to the Telstra CEO was indeed a FAKE!

According to an article entitled “Rumor Control: 5 Things About Telstra That You’re Probably Wrong About” written by tech blog and posted on October 30, 2015, the meme of the Telstra CEO was a fake.

As Unbox has pointed out, if you try searching for the quote on Google, you won’t find anything attributing it to a Telstra CEO.

But what’s most important is that the man in the meme is not Telstra’s current CEO, who would have dealt with the talks with SMC. He is David Thodey, the former Telstra CEO who retired from his position in April 2015.

The current CEO of Telstra, who also confirmed of the failed talks with SMC, is Andrew “Andy” Penn, pictured below.


Image source:

The possibility of Telstra entering the Philippines as an additional competition in the telco market ended in March, but depending on Duterte’s administration, he might decide to start new talks with the Australian firm. But for now, nothing of the sort is happening.

Moreover, even the meme used to stir up false hope among the Filipino netizens is a fake. All we can do now is wait and see what the Philippine telcos will do after Duterte warned them to shape up and how Duterte’s administration will address the need for faster and cheaper Internet service in the country.


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Busted: Hollywood actor laughed at Robredo for copying his Independence Day movie speech? It’s fake news!



After Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent “Free the Courts” speech at UP Diliman on May 7, articles abound about how a Hollywood actor laughed at her for copying his speech in a movie.

Actor Bill Pullman, who played the role of a fictional US president in the movie Independence Day, allegedly laughed at the Philippine VP for copying the speech he made during the movie. This is according to the May 8 story on the blog

The story was also picked up by other blogs, such as,, and and shared by Facebook pages, such as Philippine News Courier, Trending News Today, and Like for Donations, among others.

Based on these stories online, Pullman was said to have reacted to a meme made by blogger RJ Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, comparing Pullman’s character’s speech and Robredo’s speech. The actor was shown to have tweeted his reaction to TP’s meme, saying “Creative and very well done. Gave me a good laught this morning.” It was also time-stamped “20m,” marking that the screenshot was made 20 minutes after the tweet went live.

While the time-stamp made it seem like Pullman’s alleged tweet was made recently, it actually wasn’t. The text in Pullman’s tweet that was used in the story above was real, but he posted that tweet in reaction to a completely different thing, not Robredo’s speech. He tweeted that on February 22, 2018 when he reacted to a YouTube video “Lone Starr A Spaceballs TEASER. – Han Solo a Star Wars Story Style.”

But the misleading story did not end there! It even had a Part Two bearing the title “Robredo Won’t Apologize for Copying Bill Pullman Speech at Independence Day Movie” published on May 9 by the same blog,

In this story, statements were attributed to Robredo’s spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, who allegedly reacted to Pullman’s reaction to Robredo’s speech.


“The OVP [Office of the Vice President] categorically deny allegations that VP Leni Robredo copied her recent speech from the movie Independence Day. The message might be the same, but the difference in words is very obvious. The vice president also spoke from her heart, and there was no prepared speech for her.”

“The vice president believes that the accusation is only a strategy of her critics to divert the public’s attention from the real issue. It is very clear that the present administration is doing everything to silent its critics, and is using the Constitution in the wrong way. Therefore, the vice president needs to fight against the dictatorship.”

But in Rappler’s fact-checking report, Hernandez denied making the statements above.

“Those statements did not come from me. Definitely fake news,” she said in a text message to Rappler.

While there are similarities in Robredo’s speech and Pullman’s speech while playing his character in the movie, Pullman did not make a reaction over this. His February 2018 tweet was edited to mislead people. Robredo, unlike the claims of the second part of the story, also did not react to this fake news involving Pullman.

This is not the first fake story that the Facebook page Philippine News Courier has helped spread on social media. The said page also shared the fake stories about the late Playboy founder Hugh Heffner donating $5 million to Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, the Supreme Court ordering Kris Aquino to return Imelda Marcos’ diamond necklace, former Senator Bongbong Marcos leading over Robredo by 1,786 votes in the first week of the VP vote recount, and more. The page is also associated to the fake news site

Sources: ( )


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Busted: Photo of “new Marawi” is not really that of Marawi! It’s a misleading claim!



A Facebook page declaring support for President Rodrigo Duterte as it bears his face and his name shared an article with a featured image described as the “new Marawi” that was not shown on TV.

Facebook page “Duterte for OFW” shared an article from blog that has a featured image claimed to be the new Marawi City. The page also wrote this caption: “Sobrang laki na pala ng improvement ng Marawi ni hindi nga magawang ibalita ng mga abias na mainstream media.. Tayo na laang po ang magbalita mga kababayan.”

But if you click on the link to the altervista page, you will see an almost 17-minute long YouTube video of a press briefing conducted by the Task Force Bangon Marawi Team attended by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, the Marawi City mayor, HUDCC assistant secretary, NEDA undersecretary, and Iligan City mayor. They discussed the latest progress in the rehabilitation process of Marawi City throughout the entire video.

However, the featured image used in the article was not really shown off during the press conference.


It was just right not to include that photo of a beautiful port because it is not really a photo of Marawi City.

Twitter user AltAsecMargauxUson pointed out that misleading claim, clarifying that the place in the photo is Nice, France, not Marawi City.

“Eto na pala ang bagong Marawi na hindi ipinakita sa TV! Hindi lang tayo parang Singapore! Para din tayong Nice, France! Ano masasabi nyo dito mga ka-DDS?” the Twitter page asked the question with sarcasm.

In response to her tweet, another account with the name Alt BBM Employee exclaimed about how the “new Marawi” looks even more beautiful than Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which prompted AltAsecMargauxUson to say that the former should persuade his former colleagues to use more believable photos.

The Twitter user claiming to be former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ employee suggested an alternative photo if someone would ask him what Marawi looks like now.

He also added that he already has a photo in mind if someone claims that President Duterte’s administration has built a new university in Marawi City. It was actually a photo of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series.

The featured image used in the article describing how the Marawi City under rehab has looked like now was actually that of Port Lympia of Nice, as shown on Wikipedia.

There have been a few misleading reports involving Marawi in the past.  Rappler called out Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson a few months ago for using a photo taken by a Rappler correspondent and claiming it to be a photo taken after the Marawi siege when it was not.  The state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) was also slammed for using a Vietnam war photo as a featured image in their Marawi news story.


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Busted: Presidents told Duterte he’s the light of their world, will follow his footsteps? It’s a misleading headline!



Facebook page “Action ni Duterte” proudly claimed that other country leaders have hailed President Rodrigo Duterte as the “light” of their world and someone whose footsteps they ought to follow.

The page posted the story on March 20 and it has since then been shared over 1,000 times.


But the story from actually just used a misleading headline to reel people in. It only took a single impactful post for people to start clicking on and sharing the story online.

We checked out the site and saw that a minute-long YouTube video was embedded in it. We watched out and found out that the video was instead telling about the time when President Duterte sang to other country leaders, such as US President Donald Trump, and other participants on November 11, 2017 during the ASEAN summit.

In contrast to what the headline claimed, it was actually Duterte who sang to the other leaders and ASEAN attendees that they are the light of his world, based on the translated lyrics of the song, and not the other way around.

Duterte sang “Ikaw” as a duet with veteran singer Pilita Corales. He even joked that he sang “upon the orders of the Commander in Chief of the United States.”

You can watch Duterte singing here:

Once again, dubious sites have resorted to using misleading headlines to spread further misinformation. Sadly, it worked since some netizens have fallen for the wrong headline, based on these comments:

The YouTube video embedded in the article is relatively short as it only lasts for a minute. If only they took a minute of their time to watch the whole thing, they could have avoided falling for fake news.

Sources: ( , )


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