VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report claiming Magdalo preparing for coup FALSE, uses MISLEADING photos

A false story was published Sept. 12 by website claiming the group Magdalo – which Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV led in mutinees in 2003 and 2007 – is preparing for a coup. It also misleads readers by using outdated and unrelated photos.

The false story bore the headline, “BREAKING NEWS: Magdalo ni Trillanes nagpapalakas na para sa kudeta (Breaking news: Trillanes’ Magdalo consolidating forces for coup)!” and carried as its content 10 minutes of a 104-minute Facebook Live video that day of pro-Duterte vlogger Dante Maravillas.

In his video, Maravillas did not claim Magdalo was building itself up for a coup. He merely echoed a statement President Rodrigo Duterte made the day before about a “loose conspiracy” behind his alleged ouster, as he challenged the Armed Forces of the Philippines to stage a “mutiny or a revolution.”

Duterte said:

“Kung kayong mga sundalo, tingnan ninyo, maniwala kayo kay Trillanes na bigyan kayo ng pangangailangan ninyo…Iyong kayong may nakita at nakita ninyong may gawa, may ginawa si Trillanes para sa inyo, go to them and stage a mutiny or revolution or whatever. You are free to do that. As a matter of fact, I am encouraging you para tapos na.”

(If you soldiers want to see, believe Trillanes that he will provide for your needs…Those of you who have seen that Trillanes has done something for you, go to them and stage a mutiny or revolution or whatever. You are free to do that. As a matter of fact, I am encouraging you so that we can end this.)

Source: Transcript of Tête-à-tête between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo

The Maravillas clip, uploaded by Youtube channel TOKHANG TV, bore a misleading thumbnail which splices together an Associated Press photo of a Magdalo soldier during the November 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, and a July 2009 Agence France-Presse photo of Philippine marine soldiers at a send-off ceremony. published its false and misleading story a day after Duterte held a one-on-one interview with his Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

The false story could have reached over 1.8 million people, its traffic largely coming from the pages BongBong Marcos, MARCOS LOYALIST and BongBong Marcos Loyalists Movement Official Group.

(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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