VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte fan page MISLEADS with Red Cross relief op photos

An online post went viral after it showcased photos of the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) relief operations for victims of Typhoon Ompong, leading netizens to think it was a government initiative.

Facebook page President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept. 21 uploaded a collection of four photos with the caption:

“Hoy!! ABS-CBN, GMA AT TV5 Ibaita niyo naman to!.. Ikalat natin to guys para makarating sa kanila. tunay na pagbabago (Hey ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5, why don’t you report on this! Let’s spread the word, guys so it will reach them. Here’s the real change)!”

The photos were then credited to a netizen whose Facebook profile claims she is a “diehard Duterte supporter.”

A reverse image search revealed that the photos were actually from PRC relief operations in Brgy. Sta. Margarita, Baggao, Cagayan, which were originally posted Sept. 20 on PRC chair Richard Gordon’s official Facebook page. It was captioned:

Relief distribution to 307 individuals at Brgy. Sta. Margarita in Baggao, Cagayan. This is the RED CROSS way of distributing relief—with respect and dignity.

The PRC is not a state agency but an independent and autonomous non-government organization.

The misleading post has already garnered 4,720 interactions and comments combined, and has been shared at least 19,101 times, including shares of the individual photos.

The original post in Gordon’s page, on the other hand, has 6,093 interactions but only 2,072 cumulative shares.

President Rodrigo Duterte Facebook page was created in September 2016.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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