VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report on Bam Aquino eating street food as election propaganda UNSUPPORTED

Website published Oct. 1 a photo of Liberal Party (LP) senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino eating street food and made an unsubstantiated claim that it was part of his party’s propaganda for the 2019 elections.

Bearing the headline, “WOW! HYPOCRISY | Dahil Eleksyon na, yayakap na ang LP sa mahihirap (Wow! Hypocrisy | Because it’s election season, LP’s embracing the poor),” the website carried a low-quality image of Aquino getting squid ball from a stall, and claimed the “yellows” – a colloquial term for members and supporters of the opposition – were “brandishing acts… embracing the poor” because of the elections.

The report provides no further support for its claim apart from the photo, which is merely an image posted Sept. 21 by Aquino’s office on Instagram, captioned: “Fishball/Squidball muna after watching #Liway sa Cine Adarna, UP Diliman ([Eating] fishball/squidball first before watching #Liway at Cine Adarna, UP Diliman).”

The unsubstantiated report was published a week after LP announced Sept. 25 its first three candidates for the midterm elections: former Quezon representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, and Aquino. The opposition party completed its lineup for the May 2019 polls last week.

The story could have reached over 284,000 people, its biggest traffic generator the page Rodrigo Duterte News. was created in October 2015.

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