​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte-named channel MISLEADS with President's old comments on Smartmatic

Duterte Archives, a YouTube channel with a history of publishing false information, passed off as new a six-month old speech of President Rodrigo Duterte where he called for the replacement of election technology provider Smartmatic.

The 10-minute clip, uploaded on its channel Nov. 25, was taken from the official coverage of the president’s almost two hour-long May 30 speech in Japan in front of the Filipino community.

The video was pirated from Radio Television Malacañang’s (RTVM) official YouTube channel and given the exaggerated headline:

“MAKAPANINDIG BALAHIBONG BALITA PINALAYAS NA ni DIGONG ang SMARTMATIC sa COMELEC (Hair-raising news: Digong kicked out Smartmatic from Comelec).”

Duterte Archives gave no context to the upload, passing off the old speech as recent.

The president did ask the Commission on Elections to let go of vote-counting machine provider Smartmatic two weeks after the country’s May 13, 2019 midterm elections. Duterte said,

“I would like to advise Comelec now --- hindi ko na lang hintayin (I won’t wait anymore) --- [applause] dispose of that Smartmatic and look for a new one that is free of fraud. [applause]…

But the Comelec, through its spokesperson James Jimenez said they “need a legal basis to ban any supplier” from future bidding.

The misleading video was cropped to hide the superimposed text #DuterteJapan2019 in the original footage, and graphics were overlaid to cover the RTVM and Presidential Communications logos.

A check on the YouTube Channel’s linked Twitter account shows its owner had been applying to be included in YouTube’s Partner Program, to earn from the video uploads on the channel. Duterte Archives’ owner claimed to post “original videos, not reused content.”

Duterte Archives’ misleading video has been viewed over 135,000 times in three days. It has also been shared on Twitter and 80 public Facebook groups, interacted with almost 28,000 times and could have reached two million netizens. The channel has 123,000 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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