VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post comparing Aquino and Duterte relief operations MISLEADS with outdated photos

At the height of Typhoon Ompong last weekend, a misleading photo collage made the rounds on social media comparing disaster relief efforts under President Rodrigo Duterte with that of his predecessor, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

A netizen uploaded on Sept. 15 the collage that splices together two images showing sacks of goods and what look like damaged relief items in filthy boxes, with two other photos of neatly organized boxes.

The former bore the label “Tuwid na daan time (Straight path time),” which was the Aquino administration’s bedrock slogan, while the latter was labelled “EJK (extrajudicial killing) time,” all under the umbrella statement: “Tulong sa mga nasalanta ng kalamidad. Sino ang dapat tularan (Help to disaster victims. Who should be followed)?”

The post misleads with outdated photos of the Duterte administration relief operations.

The top left and bottom left photos were indeed relief operations during Aquino’s term, showing specifically:

  • a November 2013 photo of relief goods found scattered at a Tacloban, Leyte warehouse post-Typhoon Yolanda, uploaded by a certain Ronza Acasio Epiz; and
  • a March 2014 GMA News Online photo of spoiled relief goods for Yolanda survivors, found in Palo, Leyte.

The top right and bottom right photos, on the other hand, were not taken during Ompong nor any other recent typhoon, but were taken at least two years earlier. The photos were:

  • a December 2016 Philippine Information Agency/Philippine News Agency photo of police assisting the packing of relief goods for victims of Typhoon Nina; and
  • an October 2016 Reuters photo of boxed relief goods for victims of Super Typhoon Lawin.

The collage originated from Facebook page “Blessed Be Philippines.” On Sept.15, the page re-shared its October 2017 post but captioned it with, “kung sila ang nakaupo ngayon naku sigurado.ganito ulit tayo (If they were the ones in power now, surely, we’ll be like this again).”

The netizen’s misleading online post has received more than 4,300 reactions, more than 500 comments, and has been shared over by 20,000 people.


(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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