VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post on Diokno’s list of ’causes of inflation’ MISLEADING

A netizen’s month-old online post currently circulating on social media which claims that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno attributed recent inflation rates to rice hoarding, price hikes on oil and vegetables and “economic sabotage” by oligarchs is misleading.

Facebook page PasawayDat Com posted on Oct. 5 a photo of the Department of Budget and Management chief, with the following text:

“We have to understand that the causes of inflation in our country are
*NFA did not release 4.6 millions sacks of rice
*rice suppliers hoarded the supplies (sabotage)
*oil price hike (world market)
*over pricing of vegetables
*oligarchs’ econ. sabotage

Do not blame the president
He is doing his very best!”

The phrase “oligarchs’ econ. sabotage” also featured an inset of a yellow ribbon beside it, a symbol associated with the political family of the Aquinos.

Only three of the five items listed in PasawayDat Com’s post have been reported as factors Diokno has cited as contributors to the record-breaking inflation rates in recent months.

On Oct. 5, Diokno said in an interview on a CNN Philippines show, Business Roundup, that a major contributor to the 6.7 percent September inflation rate was the National Food Authority’s non-release of 4.6 million sacks of rice.

On the 6.4 percent August inflation rate, Diokno was reported by Business World, and UNTV on Sept. 5 to have said that rising oil prices in the world market contributed to high inflation. on Sept. 5 also said Diokno, in a text message to reporters, said the rise in food prices, including vegetables – and not “overpricing” as Pasaway Dot Com claimed – contributed to the August inflation rate.

There is no report on Diokno citing “rice hoarding” or “economic sabotage by oligarchs.”

PasawayDat Com’s misleading online post was published the same day Diokno made the statement about the NFA’s 4.6 million sacks of rice on CNN Philippines.

The online post has been shared more than 21,000 times and could have reached more than 3.2 million people. Traffic to the post largely came from the pages PEBA, Inc., Showbiz Government and Atty Glenn Chong Supporters Group.

PasawayDat Com was created on Nov. 25, 2016.

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