​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Reused article gives FALSE CONTEXT of Yolanda fund audit

A dubious website is misleading its readers by presenting a 2013 Commission on Audit (COA) report on unallocated funds and donations for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims as a recent discovery “finally” revealed.

Pinas Trends (pinastrends.xyz) on Oct. 20 recycled a misleading December 2018 write-up of website Social Net PH, which also turned out to be a reused article from website Happy Pinoy (happypinoy.info). The latest reuploaded article bore the headline:

'FINALLY! COA IBINULGAR ANG KATOTOHANAN NA MAHIGIT SA P629.77 MILYONG DONASYON PARA SA MGA TAGA-YOLANDA ANG HINDI IBINIBIGAY NG PNOY ADMIN!

(FINALLY! COA REVEALS THE TRUTH THAT MORE THAN P 629.66 MILLION WORTH OF DONATIONS FOR YOLANDA (VICTIMS) WERE NOT DISTRIBUTED BY THE PNOY ADMIN!)


Accompanying this is a collage image composed of the following:

  • December 2013 photo of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III with then Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon “Dinky” Soliman
  • November 2013 photo taken by European Pressphoto Agency photojournalist Dennis Sabangan (similar photo can be found here)
  • November 2013 photo by European Pressphoto Agency photojournalist Jay Rommel Labra
  • November 2013 photo by Associated Press photojournalist Aaron Favila

The articles of Pinoy Trends, Social Net PH, and Happy Pinoy, are carbon copies of each other except for the word “finally” added at the beginning of the first two sites' headlines. All are falsely claiming COA discovered, at last, that the Aquino administration pocketed the Quick Response Fund (QRF) of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and donations for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) supposedly allotted for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

“Nasa 629.77-milyong piso quick response funds (QRF) ng Office of Civil Defense (OCD) habang nasa 48.82-milyong pisong donasyon naman ang natanggap ng National Disaster Risk Reduction (sic) Management Council (NDRRMC) at pareho itong natangay ng administrasyon ni Noynoy.
(About 629.77-million pesos quick response funds (QRF) of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and about 48.82-million pesos of donations which the National Disaster Risk Reduction (sic) Management Council (NDRRMC) received were both pocketed by the Noynoy administration.)”

This is misleading.

The COA report which the article appears to be referring to is a six-year-old audit report on the OCD. There are also details included in the outdated articles which are not found in the official COA report.

  • The amount allotted for the QRF identified in the said document is P692.77 million, not P629.77 million.
  • It was declared in the COA report that the P48.82 million donation to the NDRRMC “remained not utilized” as of 2013 and that the reason behind the failure to allocate the QRF is “inadequate planning.” This belies the recycled articles’ claim that the money was “pocketed” by the PNoy administration.


The OCD, in the 2014 audit on the office, has already “partially implemented” the recommendations given to them by COA the previous year regarding the unallocated funds and donations for the victims of the super typhoon.

The post which Happy Pinoy ultimately cited as its source is Asian Policy’s (asianpolicy.press) 2017 misleading article. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online posts MISLEAD with old story on Noynoy Aquino's undistributed Yolanda funds)

Pinoy Trends’ article made the rounds on the Web a few weeks before the sixth anniversary of the powerful typhoon which caused widespread devastation and killed at least 6,300 people. The post received 4,900 interactions and could have reached a total of 1.1 million social media users.

Its top traffic generators are Facebook groups BongBong Marcos United, DUTERTE PARA SA BAYAN!, and SARA DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT 2022 - JOIN NA PO KAYO.


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

FOR FURTHER READING

​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online posts MISLEAD with old story on Noynoy Aquino's undistributed Yolanda funds

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

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​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website posts FALSE CONTEXT of corruption claim on PNoy

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