VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report claiming no media reports on Duterte's Benguet visit NOT TRUE

Website philnews.xyz published Sept. 24 a story which falsely claims that mainstream media did not report on President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Benguet province after it was hit by landslides caused by typhoon Ompong.

At least six media outlets - GMA News Online, ABS-CBN News online, CNN Philippines, Inquirer.net, Rappler, and SunStar Baguio - produced reports about Duterte's visit last Sept. 17, or two days after northern provinces were battered by the typhoon, and a week before philnews.xyz even published its untrue story, "Pres. Duterte's Persistent Visit to Benguet Despite Security Issues Not Reported by Mainstream Media."

The false story also claims that the "dangers" Duterte allegedly faced to reach Benguet went unreported, including a supposedly risky helicopter ride, "wet and slippery" roads, and the "possible threat of an NPA [New People's Army] ambush."

These claims , which philnews.xyz merely sourced from a netizen's Facebook post, are unsubstantiated.

The media covered Duterte's visit to Benguet, where he met with the bereaved families of the victims of the massive landslide in Ucab, Itogon town and offered them financial assistance. He also got a briefing from local officials about the damage and casualties of Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.

Philnews.xyz's false story could have reached over 75,000 people. Social media traffic largely came from the unofficial Facebook page of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, and Unofficial: Sec. Martin Andanar.

Philnews.xyz was created in August 2015.

(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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