VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizen posts FABRICATED Ferdinand Marcos quote card on ‘media shutdown’

A fake quote card that appears to show the former President Ferdinand Marcos reacting to current events is circulating on social media. It falsely claims that the late dictator ordered a media shutdown during his term because he said media outlets were “paid” by “rich businessmen” to discredit him.

As local media organizations reported on issues surrounding the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, a netizen published a fake quote card on Nov. 28 in the Facebook group BONGBONG MARCOS: CYBER SQUAD. It featured a photo of Marcos taken in February 1986 by Agence France Presse photojournalist Romeo Gacad, a reverse image search shows.

The following statement was superimposed at the bottom portion of the photo:

"NGAYON NAIINTINDIHAN NYU NA KUNG BAKIT WALA MEDIA NUNG PANAHON KO.. MINAMANIPULA NG MGA MAYAYAMANG MGA NEGOSYANTE ANG ISIP NG MGA TAO AT SIRAIN ANG REPUTASYON KO. SA PAMAMAGITAN NG MGA BAYARANG MEDIA. DI AAHON ANG PINAS HANGGANG MAY MGA PILIPINO NA PATULOY NA MAGPAPAKATANGA (Now, you understand why there was no media during my time. Through the paid media, wealthy entrepreneurs manipulated the minds of the people to ruin my reputation. The Philippines will not succeed as long as Filipinos allow themselves to be fooled)."

A quick search on the Web does not yield any official interview, speech, or report by legitimate media organizations showing Marcos making such a statement. The ex-president, who ruled the country for 20 years, or from December 1965 to February 1986, was ousted in a military-backed people power revolution.

A look at the interactions on the netizen’s fake social media post, which has been shared over 29,000 times and has received over 4,000 reactions, shows many believed it. One commenter said, “True.... Brainwash ang ginawa ng mga bias media at propaganda ng mga oligarchs gamit ang kanilang tv station (Brainwash was used by the biased media and the propaganda by the oligarchs who used their TV stations).”

This was not the first time the fake quote card circulated on the Web. VERA Files Fact Check tracked down the oldest retrievable copy of the fabricated post in image hosting website Imgur, uploaded in May 2017. The quote, on the other hand, could only be traced to a comment by a Marcos supporter in a June 2016 blog post.

The fake quote card made the rounds on FB a few days after local media reported on initial complaints from foreign and even local athletes about food, transport and accommodations during the SEA Games. Six days after it was published, President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 3 also commented on media conglomerate ABS-CBN’s expiring franchise, saying they are “out” and should no longer expect their franchise to be renewed.

Traffic to the fake post was largely generated by the BONGBONG MARCOS: CYBER SQUAD FB group itself, as well as public FB groups Tulfo Brothers Worldwide and (vf)DDS/ DIEHARD DUTERTE SUPPORTERS.

(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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