It's five years old.
A five-year-old video of a kidnap attempt on students by suspects in a white van that is now making the rounds on social media carries a misleading headline, insinuating the Iglesia ni Cristo's (INC) involvement in the foiled abduction.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, several Facebook (FB) pages and groups shared a two-minute video posted on Dec. 3, 2014 by YouTube channel αποπλανητικός Συναισθηματική. It featured a re-uploaded version of an Aksyon News5 report that day on the attempted abduction of five students in Quiapo, Manila by suspects riding a white van.
The YouTube channel used as its headline, “GINAMIT SA TANGKANG PAGDUKOT NG MGA ESTUDYANTE MAY LOGO ng INC (Vehicle used in abduction attempt on students has INC logo),” implying INC involvement in the kidnap attempt.
The News5 report made no mention of the religious group’s involvement in its reportage. It merely said it was able to trace the van involved in the kidnap attempt. The story’s news tickers, or television graphic on the lower-third portion of the screen, read:
- Mga estudyanteng lalaki, tinangkang dukutin ng suspek sa van (Suspects in van attempted to kidnap male students)
- Plaka ng van na ginamit sa tangkang pag-kidnap, peke ayon sa may-ari (Vehicle plate of van used in attempted kidnap stolen, says owner)
- Mga estudyante at magulang, natatakot dahil sa tangkang kidnapping (Students and parents worried by kidnapping attempt)
Stories about the incident, including News5’s, also noted that the owners of the van said they were victims of “kambal-plaka,” or twin vehicle plates, and that their van was being lent out to a friend at the time of the foiled abduction.
Due to the video's misleading headline, some reactions from netizens carried harsh comments towards the INC:
- “Mag - ingat kayo sa mga Iglesia Ni Cristo dahil parang maamong tupa ang mga yaan, pero HALIMAW (Beware of the Iglesia ni Cristo because they might seem like tame sheep, but they are monsters)!”
- “Di kambal plaka yan yan mismo ung pati ba sticker ng inc gagayahin din .. (That’s not a case of twin vehicle plates, that’s exactly it, why would they even copy the INC sticker?)”
αποπλανητικός Συναισθηματική’s misleading post was shared in public FB groups as police investigated the reported disappearances of nine persons in Pasay City from Nov. 20 to 22. Several online posts telling people to be wary of "white vans" have since popped up on social media following the recent incident while the police have asked netizens not to share false information on white vans abducting teenagers so as not to create undue alarm.
VERA Files Fact Check has also flagged online posts that misleadingly reshared a 2014 TV Patrol news report on the same incident, which some netizens thought was a recent occurrence.
αποπλανητικός Συναισθηματική’s misleading video may have reached almost 275,000 followers on FB, gaining more than 1,200 interactions from netizens.
Top traffic generators to the story form social media included INDAY SARA DUTERTE CARPIO SUPPORTERS WORLDWIDE, Democratic WARRIORS, and BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS.
The YouTube channel was created on Nov. 24, 2011.