VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB pages MISLEAD with old report on NPA burning 7 trucks

Several Facebook (FB) pages have misleadingly revived an outdated story about suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) burning seven trucks in Bukidnon. This, shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte said the armed communist group has been taking food supplies and other aid intended for the local communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report is over five years old, published by GMA News Online on March 9, 2015. FB pages National Task Force - End Local Communist Armed Conflict, Tripple click bantay ng bayan at kakampi ng pilipino, and Tatag at Kalinga Imee Marcos concealed this in their April 27 posts by including only a link to the story and an inaccurate “recap” of the article.

Ostensibly meant to support Duterte’s claim, the misleading FB status updates said the trucks were carrying “relief goods” and that they were burned down because its owner “failed to pay revolutionary tax.”

Several stories on the matter show the vehicles carried bananas, processed food and cases of beer, not relief goods. There was also no mention of motive behind the attack being the non-payment of “revolutionary tax.”

A look at the posts’ history on social media shows an identical status update has been circulating since March 2015 published by page Juan Nationalist, sans the claim that the trucks were carrying relief goods. At least a couple of FB pages revived that post last month, after Duterte told the military and the police to “end” communist insurgency in the country.

More recently, the posts were reshared and republished after Duterte warned on April 24 he might impose martial law because of the “lawlessness... imposed on us by the NPAs."

The inaccurate posts have already gotten an accumulated total of around 24,500 interactions on FB. National Task Force - End Local Communist Armed Conflict was created in June 2019, Tripple click bantay ng bayan at kakampi ng pilipino in November 2015, and Tatag at Kalinga Imee Marcos in October 2018.

(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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