VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Taguig LGU’ poster advertising free female genitalia construction for LGBT a HOAX

A netizen recently posted on Facebook (FB) a fabricated publicity material claiming that the Taguig local government is giving free sex reassignment surgeries for members of the LGBT community who want to have female genitalia.

The fake post, published on Sept. 30, is a low-quality, photo-shopped version of a March 16, 2019 poster uploaded by the official FB page of Barangay Western Bicutan in Taguig. It originally advertised free medical, dental and ophthalmic services for the public last March 18.

The netizen edited the poster to read, “LIBRENG PA PUKE para sa mga nais magpagawa ng puki.. 18 pataas, handog lingkod bayan para sa lgbt. first come, first served no advance registration(FREE FEMALE GENITAL CONSTRUCTION for those who want to get female genitals.. 18 years old and above, a public service offering for the LGBT. First come, first served. No advance registration),” and claimed the event would be held on Oct. 12.

There has been no announcement of a free sex reassignment service for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on the official FB pages of Barangay Western Bicutan and Taguig City. There has been no mention of the program either on the social media pages of Western Bicutan Barangay Captain Perlita Carmen, Taguig Second District Rep. Maria Laarni “Lani” Cayetano and Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano, who were all featured on the poster.

A barangay is the smallest political unit or administrative division in the Philippines.

The fabricated poster has been shared over 13,000 times and has received more than 8,700 comments and 6,200 reactions, the bulk of which are laughs. Several social media users though, appeared to be confused, with one even asking the barangay captain if the event was “legitimate.”

It is notable that the barangay’s social media page published an online post that read, “STOP THE SPREAD of FALSE and MALICIOUS posts,” a day after the netizen uploaded the fake poster. Barangay Western Bicutan, however, did not identify which posts it referred to as false and malicious.

The fake poster also wrongly described Lani Cayetano as Taguig City mayor, a position she held until only last June. She is now a member of the House of Representatives.

The sex reassignment hoax made the rounds on the Web the same month netizens made fake quote cards targeting transwoman Gretchen Diez, who was discriminated against last August at a womens’ restroom in a Cubao mall.

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