VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Disente vs bastos time’ posts on Boracay MISLEAD with 2017 post-typhoon photos

Pro-Duterte Facebook (FB) page DDS Drei Natabio and a netizen misused two 2017 photos of a typhoon-devastated Boracay and falsely claimed it shows the island during the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.

This is inaccurate. A reverse image search reveals the images were taken in the aftermath of Typhoon Urduja which hit parts of central Visayas, including Boracay, in December 2017. This was a year and a half into President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

The earliest copy of the photo showing a sewer and some sacks unearthed on the island’s sandy shore is a February 2018 post by FB page Hidden Truth PH. It bore the caption, “This photo was taken last December of 2017 (Typhoon Urduja).”

The other image featuring a muddy beachfront filled with trash was taken by a netizen also during Urduja. It was used by and News5 in their Dec. 18, 2017 reports.

The two pictures were part of a collage uploaded on July 2 and 3, juxtaposing the island under “disente (decent) time,” or during the past administration, with its state during “bastos (rude) time” or during Duterte’s leadership.

The earliest traceable copies online of the “bastos time” photos were uploaded by the DDS Drei Natabio page on April 14. In its caption, the post claimed the images showing a spotless shore of Boracay were taken during the quarantine period amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “disente time” label appears to have taken off from a statement made by actress Sharon Cuneta in her June 29 Instagram Live video, where she said if Vice President Leni Robredo took over after Duterte, it “might restore decency for most of us.” Robredo is a party-mate of Aquino.

Three other misleading “disente-bastos time” comparisons were fact-checked by VERA Files this week. (See: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Viral ‘disente vs bastos time’ photos MISLEAD; all taken under Duterte administration)

DDS Drei Natabio was created in August 2016. Its post was shared over 3,900 times and could have reached over 1.4 million people. Traffic to its inaccurate post largely came from FB pages DDS New York and Rodrigo Duterte for President National Chapter, and public group SARA DUTERTE SOLID SUPPORTERS.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Viral ‘disente vs bastos time’ photos MISLEAD; all taken under Duterte administration

All images were shot under the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in June 2016.

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About Vera Files

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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