VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Old photos FALSELY passed off as Paeng’s effect on farmers

Various Facebook (FB) pages are sharing an album of images supposedly showing the ramifications of Typhoon Paeng (international name: Nalgae) on Filipino farmers. The album erroneously used old photos and passed them off as new. 

Uploaded on Oct. 29, the posts featured eight images of devastated crops, crying farmers and dead livestock. Its caption read: 

Ang pinaka mapait at masakit sa mata. Ang ginawa ni bagyong paeng sa ating mga magigiting na magsasaka. PRAY FOR FARMERS! Ipanalangin natin ang mga apektado especially ang mga nawalan ng mahal sa buhay.”

(The most bitter and painful to the eye. What typhoon paeng did to our brave farmers. PRAY FOR FARMERS! Let’s pray for those affected especially those who lost loved ones.)

The Department of Agriculture did report an estimated P1.33 billion damage in the agricultural sector post-typhoon. However, six of the photos were not from the onslaught of Paeng.

Reverse image searches showed that four photos were taken in Nepal during unseasonal and heavy rainfall in October 2021 while the two others were during Typhoon Ineng’s (international name: Bailu) onslaught in the Philippines in 2019. 

Photo 1 

The photo shows a farmer lamenting the loss caused by unseasonal rainfall in Nepal’s Dhanusha District, published by news portal Online Khabar on Oct. 25, 2021.

Photo 2

This image of a rice paddy submerged in rainwater was also taken in October 2021 but in Nepal’s Kanchanpur District. This was captured by a photographer for Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), the state news agency.

Photo 3

The photo showing a Nepali farmer in a rice paddy was also taken in October 2021 by RSS and published by BBC Nepali.

Photo 4

The image of a farmer harvesting crops has been on the web at least since Dec. 25, 2021, when it was uploaded by the FB page of National Federation of Irrigation Water User’s Association Nepal

Photo 5

This photo of dead livestock was taken after Typhoon Ineng’s onslaught in Ilocos Norte and published on Aug. 24, 2019 by the FB account of Barangay Alsem, in Vintar town.

Photo 6

The photo showing four Filipinos pulling dead carabaos was also uploaded by Barangay Alsem in the same FB post.

The sources of the two other photos could not be traced. 

The photos with false context were uploaded by several FB pages and shared in various groups. The post by the page Province Life (created on Sept. 2) garnered 525 reactions, 24 comments and 850 shares. The photos were reposted by other pages like Forever I Love You (Jan. 10, 2013) and Manny Pacquiao Fans (Sept. 23, 2021).

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

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