VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB post claiming Aquino, allies ‘confirmed’ to have stolen Marcos gold is NOT TRUE

A three-year-old Facebook post that falsely claims the Aquino administration was confirmed to have stolen gold bars from the Marcoses, has gained traction again among social media users this month.

Posted by the page Filipino Fighting For Freedom of Information 4FoI in June 2018, the untrue post carried a minute-long news report from People’s Television Network (PTV), and stated in its caption:

  • that the late President Benigno Aquino III, senators Franklin Drilon and Leila de Lima, former Interior secretary Mar Roxas and members of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) were found guilty of stealing 3,500 metric tons of gold from the Marcoses; and
  • that they tried to send the gold to Thailand, but was intercepted by Spanish authorities.

These are fabricated claims.

The PTV report, actually from Jan. 7, 2017, was about graft and plunder charges filed against Aquino, Drilon, De Lima, Roxas and three others supposedly involving an illegal shipment to Thailand of 3,500 metric tons of gold from the BSP.

There was no mention of the supposed transfer being flagged by Spanish authorities. PTV only reported that the gold was allegedly intercepted in Switzerland in 2014.

The complaint is based on a document that has been called “spurious” by the BSP. It also has several factual inaccuracies that have been pointed out by the media in news reports.

VERA Files Fact Check has debunked three other pieces of disinformation related to the plunder case and the gold bars since 2017.

Filipino Fighting For Freedom of Information 4FoI’s false post was revived this month on FB ahead of the 38th commemoration of the assasination of Aquino’s father, democracy icon Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr on Aug. 21.

The false post has been viewed nearly 3.5 million times, according to a monitoring tool by Facebook. It has gotten over 36,000 reactions, 9,600 comments and 154,000 shares.

Filipino Fighting For Freedom of Information 4FoI is a pro-Marcos FB page with the username @4FOIFerdinandOrImeldaMarcosLoyalist, created on Feb. 15, 2015.

(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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