VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Taiwanese media did NOT spread ‘good news’ about BBM-Sara tandem


A video on Facebook (FB) erroneously claimed a Taiwanese news organization “favorably reported” on presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio.

On Feb. 21, TikTok user seamandadragat posted a short clip of a report taken from Formosa TV (FTV) Global News, a Taiwan-based digital television news channel. The 51-second video shows a woman reporting, with footage of the tandem’s proclamation rally playing in the background. It bore the text: “DITO SA ATIN BIHIRA IBALITA TAPOS TIPID PA KUNG IPALABAS NILA (Here, [the media] seldomly reports this and it’s just brief if they show it).”

On March 28, the FB page Angel Daily (created on Sept. 29, 2020) reposted the video with the caption: “Thank you TAIWAN NEWS for spreading the good new (sic) about BBM SARA TANDEM #UniTeamBBMSARA.”

The report is not spreading the “good news” about the tandem’s campaign. The full report of FTV Global News, delivered in Mandarin, can be seen in this Feb. 25 FB post.

Corresponding via text with VERA Files Fact Check, Taiwan FactCheck Center, a fact-checking organization in Taiwan, said the report was “not support” for the Uniteam tandem.

Summer Chen, editor-in-chief of Taiwan FactCheck Center, clarified that the report did not mention “good things” about Marcos Jr. Instead, it talked about how he is gaining popularity among Filipino voters despite his family’s “notoriety.”

According to a video transcript provided by MyGoPen, another Taiwanese fact-checking organization, the FTV News report mentioned that the late ousted President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. embezzled national assets worth billions of pesos. Further, the report stated that while the older Marcos ruled, the younger Marcos tried to convince his father to “use force” against the opposition, which Marcos Sr. did not agree to.

The video appeared just as the issue of the Marcoses’ unpaid P203.8-billion estate tax made headlines after being raised by Marcos Jr.’s rival candidate Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. He said the said amount, if collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, was enough to feed millions.

The TikTok video has been viewed more than 937,400 times and garnered more than 197,070 interactions. The false FB video received more than 2.8 million views and garnered more than 393,000 reactions, 5,000 comments, and 56,000 shares.

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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.)