VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bongbong Marcos NOT back in Malacañang

An old video with nearly one million views was used to support a false claim that former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was back in Malacañang.

The Facebook (FB) page Balitang Balita TV and YouTube channel DDS NEWSINFO uploaded a 2018 video on April 9 with a news ticker that read: “Marcos umopo [sic] nakabalik na sa Malacañang (Marcos took his seat, returned to Malacañang).”

The post, tagged as “breaking news”, falsely read: “PRES DUTERTE TINAWAGAN SI MARCOS PINAUPO SA MALACANANG LENI IYAK (President Duterte called Marcos seated [him] in Malacañang Leni [Robredo] cries).”

This is all concocted. President Rodrigo Duterte has not called Marcos to install him in Malacañang to replace Vice President Leni Robredo. The Supreme Court’s decision dismissing his election protest against Robredo remains valid.

The video that was reused to support this false claim clipped nine minutes from a 54-minute May 2018 episode of DZMM Teleradyo show Konektodo where Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and television host Mare Yao interviewed the former senator inside the Malacañang Palace, which had been his family's home for two decades when his father, Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., was president.

Roque and Yao asked Marcos various questions about politics and personal matters, including his relationship with Duterte, what he would have done if he had won as vice president in 2016, and his accomplishments as a former lawmaker.

Both Balitang Balita TV and DDS NEWSINFO started their video showing Duterte giving his Day of Valor message dedicated to COVID-19 frontliners on April 9 and after this, they played the 2018 interview with Marcos.

The misleading video with the false headline and news ticker was posted after Roque said on April 7 that should presidential daughter Sara Duterte or long-time-aide Sen. Bong Go not run for the presidency in the 2022 national elections, the president would choose his successor among Marcos, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

Balitang Balita TV’s post got more than 10,000 reactions, 1,700 comments, and 1,700 shares on FB. Meanwhile, DDS NEWSINFO’s YouTube video got 407,000 views and 1,000 FB interactions.

Balitang Balita TV is a self-styled TV channel page on Facebook created in October 2017 with 27,000 followers while DDS NEWSINFO’s YouTube channel was created in December 2012 with more than half a million subscribers.


(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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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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