VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizens MISLEAD with year-old announcement of ECQ extension

Social media posts of local news organizations in April last year announcing the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over Luzon have been recycled and republished by at least 113 Facebook (FB) users.

The misleading reposts started on April 7, just four days after the government extended for one more week the ECQ placed over Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal — collectively called as the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus.

The circulating social media cards were lifted from posts of five local media accounts: GMA News, GMA Public Affairs, Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, Manila Bulletin, and Their respective posts rehashed by netizens were all originally published on April 7 last year after the whole Luzon was first put under ECQ as part of the country’s efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some netizens were able to point out that the social media cards were a year old, others failed to recognize the year “2020” on the photos. They expressed their disbelief that the initial extension of the ECQ over NCR Plus till April 11 was stretched to April 30. Some, however, belatedly realized that the social media cards are outdated and resorted to editing their posts to include disclaimers.

NCR Plus was put back under ECQ on March 29 as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise in number. As of April 8, over 828,000 cases were already recorded — with more than 167,000 active cases and 14,000 deaths.

On the other hand, Quirino Province and the City of Santiago, Isabela are both under modified ECQ, while the entire Cordillera Administrative Region, the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Lanao del Sur, and the cities of Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao, are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The rest of the municipalities and cities in the country are under MGCQ until the end of April.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)