VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post on P500 banknote to commemorate Marcos is a SATIRE

A satirical post claiming that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has issued a new P500 banknote to commemorate former president Ferdinand Marcos is being taken as fact by netizens.

On Nov. 3, Cebu Dairy News posted a photo of what looks like a P500 peso banknote with the face and signature of the late dictator, saying the banknote and a commemorative medal were awarded to Marcos for leading and establishing a guerilla squadron called the “Maharlika” during World War II.

The FB page describes itself as “Cebu’s leading satirical page” and while some people pointed out that the post was a parody, netizens who thought otherwise commented that the commemoration was “the right thing to do,” and that Marcos was a “hero” who deserves the recognition. One person who thought the post was real argued that Marcos “doesn’t deserve the honor to be in our banknotes unless history will be covered up and revised.”

The BSP, in a Nov. 9 press release addressing the circulating post, said “it has not issued new banknote designs or a new design series” and warned the public against accepting fraudulent banknotes.

A P500 peso bill featuring a portrait of Marcos was designed in 1985 but was never put into circulation, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the artist who designed the banknote.

Among the FB pages that reuploaded the graphic without identifying it as a satire were Marcos History, Team Marcos, Philippine Secret Files, Tricia Arias, and Inday Sara Supporters. Their posts garnered over 21,300 interactions in total.

Several of the comments on these pages’ posts expressed support for Marcos and called for removing the portraits of Aquino family members, the Marcoses’ political rivals, from the current P500 banknote.

The original post by Cebu Dairy News garnered over 66,000 reactions, 10,000 comments, and 36,000 shares. It emerged a day after a petition was filed on Nov. 2 to cancel the certificate of candidacy of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late president.

Two other posts of Cebu Dairy News have also been mistaken by Filipino FB users to be true. In its About page, the satirical FB page created only last July asserted that they were “not proliferators of fake news” and have “no intention to mislead the public.”

Marcos History was created in April 2020, Team Marcos in January 2018, Philippine Secret Files in February 2016, while Tricia Arias was set up in September 2019, and Inday Sara Supporters in June 2020.

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