VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post on Duterte’s ‘high-speed railway system’ map MISLEADING, uses pirated SATIRICAL photo

A viral Facebook post touting an exaggerated route map for an integrated high-speed railway system in the country misleads by using a photo from a satirical website.

Posted Sept. 28 by a netizen on Facebook group BongBong Marcos United, the photo showed seven intersecting train lines connecting cities and provinces across all three major islands in the country.

It was captioned:

“PRESIDENT DUTERTE IS DOING HIS BEST TO IMPROVE PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES.”

The photo is from a July 11, 2015 post of satirical website, The Adobo Chronicles. It was used in a parody article on former Vice President Jejomar Binay titled “VICE PRESIDENT JEJOMAR BINAY’S GRAND PLAN IF ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES.”

Nine railway projects are included in the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure program, “Build, Build, Build.” None of the projects’ locations bear similar routes to the spoof photo currently circulating on social media. The planned railway projects are:

  • LRT South Extension Project, an extension of the existing LRT Line 1 to Bacoor, Cavite;
  • LRT Line 2 East Extension Project, an extension of the existing LRT Line 2 to Masinag, Antipolo;
  • Line 7 (MRT 7), connecting the North Avenue station to Bulacan;
  • Mega Manila Subway, an underground train system connecting major business districts and government centers in the National Capital Region (NCR);
  • Mindanao Railway Network (Phase 1), covering the Tagum-Davao City-Digos segment of the planned integrated Mindanao Railway network, which will connect major cities, seaports, and economic zones in Mindanao;
  • Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 1 (North-South Commuter Trail), connecting the NCR to Malolos, Bulacan;
  • PNR North 2, connecting the NCR to the Clark International Airport;
  • PNR South Commuter, connecting Manila to Los Baños, Laguna; and
  • PNR South Long Haul, connecting Manila to Legazpi, Matnog, and Batangas City.

The satirical photo first went viral as fake news early in 2016 and has since been recycled by at least two websites: Whereinbacolod.com in June 2016, and thedailysentry.net, which has a history of posting false and misleading reports, in May 7, 2018.

The misleading Facebook post has garnered more than 4,400 reactions and comments combined, and has been shared at least 6,200 times. Facebook public group BongBong Marcos United was created in 2013 and has over 186,600 members.


(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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