VERA FILES FACT CHECK: MISLEADING video claims Poe ‘criticized Duterte’s COVID-19 response’

A Youtube video widely shared among public Facebook (FB) groups, has been misleading netizens with the claim that Sen. Grace Poe heavily criticized Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and his administration for their “inefficient COVID-19 response” compared to that of the private sector.

That was not what Poe said. While the senator did praise the private sector for “act[ing] immediately” in response to the crisis, she did not discredit the government’s efforts. Neither did she condemn the Duterte administration “for being unprepared” in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. She made no mention of the president in her statement at all.

The senator gave credit to the private sector's initiative during a May 29 online forum on public-private partnership, where Poe gave a speech as chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services.

She admitted that “the private sector moves quickly compared to the government,” saying this “as part of the government” herself. If not for the support from private companies, she added, “the government could definitely not have done it or achieved what it has.”

The misleading video was published on May 31, two days after the online forum, by Youtube channel DDS TRENDING NEWS. It featured a slideshow of Poe’s and President Rodrigo Duterte’s photos while a voice-over in Filipino interpreted parts of an article which appeared to be a copy of a May 29 report.

Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle found 22 FB posts carrying a link to the misleading video, all of which were published June 1 in public groups.

Of the 22 posts, 21 were made by two individuals only. The first one shared the video’s link to eight groups in less than 10 minutes. The second one posted the Youtube video on five other groups within 15 minutes. The first netizen’s posts were then reshared to eight more groups by different FB users.

The posts already garnered over 17,700 interactions from social media users. Top traffic generators for DDS TRENDING NEWS’ video are FB groups Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters‎, to Solid Duterte Supporters Worldwide, and to PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT.

DDS TRENDING NEWS was created just last March 22.

(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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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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