VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Tulfo brothers NOT ‘found innocent’ in DOT ad deal probe

Duterte World Trend (phworkit.top) published May 14 a fake news story claiming innocence of journalists Benjamin and Erwin Tulfo, brothers of former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, in the controversial multi-million peso ad deal involving the Department of Tourism, People's Television Network Inc. and Tulfo-owned Bitag Media Unlimited Inc.

The Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the controversy and the Office of the President has ordered its own probe, but no conclusions have been reached, rendering untrue the story's headline "LUMABAS SA IMBESTIGASYON NA WALANG KASALANAN ANG TULFO BROTHERS | PANOORIN (Investigation reveals Tulfo brothers innocent | Watch)".

The fabricated story carried a clip, uploaded by Youtube channel DDS NEWS ARMY, of a May 3 CNN Philippines newscast showing a live press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, following an unrelated report.

Duterte World Trend published the story in the wake of stinging criticisms from senators. Despite Teo's resignation, the Senate will pursue its investigation to find out "the extent of corruption" at the tourism department. The issue came to light after the Commission on Audit published a report on April 29 questioning the deal's lack of supporting documentation.

The story could have reached more than 710,000 people, its biggest traffic generators from social media being Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Duterte Saviours Of Filipinos Today and Pilipinas Trends. Phworkit.top was created only on May 7; Youtube channel DDS NEWS ARMY in Sept. 2017.



(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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