VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB page FAKES PNoy quote on Canada trash

A fabricated five-month-old quote card featuring former President Benigno Aquino III purportedly saying the controversial waste from Canada could have benefitted junk collectors has been recirculating on Facebook (FB).

FB page O Bayan Ko posted May 31 an image of Aquino juxtaposed with a ship and with the caption “The mongoloid reasoning.”

“Mongoloid” is an outdated and derogatory term used to refer to people with Down Syndrome, a developmental disability.

The fabricated quote card also contained an overlaid text:

Pwedeng pagkakitaan ng ating mga kababayan pede nilang kalkalin bakal tanso, plastic, etc...pede ibenta sa junkshop. Hindi dapat ibinalik ang basura sa Canada(It could have been a source of income for our fellow Filipinos. They could have looked for steel, bronze, plastic, etc. and sold them to a junk shop. The waste should have not been returned to Canada).”

A search of the fake quote yielded no results on the Web. O Bayan Ko merely manufactured the image by combining the following:

  • an August 2013 Inquirer photo of Aquino during the 8th East Asia Conference on Competition and Law Policy.
  • a May 31 photo of Marine Vessel Bavaria distributed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra leaving the Philippines for Canada.
  • the cover photo of public Facebook group ISUMBONG MO KAY TATAY DIGONG.

The fake quote card surfaced on social media on the same day M/V Bavaria finally shipped back to Canada tonnes of garbage dumped in the Philippines for nearly six years. The 69 containers carried some of 2,450 tons of mixed waste that Chronic Plastics, Inc. transported to the country by batches in 2013 and 2014.

President Rodrigo Duterte warned on April 23 the country would go to war against Canada if it did not take back its trash. The Canadian government abided by Duterte’s call and took back its waste, shouldering the nearly P10 million cost of the rubbish repatriation. Aquino, during his presidency, was pressed by various groups to ship back the waste but failed to do so.

O Bayan Ko’s fabricated quote card could have reached over 270,000 social media users, with the traffic largely coming from the page itself, and public Facebook groups DEFENDERS OF PRESIDENT DUTERTE and Raffy Tulfo In Action 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.)


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