VERA FILES FACT CHECK: These photos of nuns are from DIFFERENT years

Two photos of Catholic nuns -- one showing a handful protesting outside the ABS-CBN studios and the other, showing a contingent walking past street children lying on a concrete pavement -- have been stitched together to paint a misleading portrait of the religious sisters' supposed priorities.

Facebook (FB) page Pinas Ang Ina Nyo published the juxtaposed image on July 20 and wrote a caption with a false context. The post, which has been shared over 8,000 times, says these nuns "ignored" hungry and weary street kids, choosing instead to "support oligarchs."

"...Mas pinili pa ng mga madre na ipaglaban at suportahan ang oligarch na “kapamilya” Lopez kesa ipaglaban at magpakita ng pagmamahal sa mga batang pinabayaan ng kanilang mga kapamilya (The nuns chose to fight and support the “kapamilya” orligarchs, the Lopezes, instead of fighting for and showing love for children abandoned by their families).

#Kapamilya #Blessed #Disente"

The FB post misleads; the two photos show a different set of nuns in different places at different times.

A reverse image search reveals the photo on top was taken on July 18 and shows nuns from St. Scholastica's College protesting against the Anti-Terror Law and the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise in front of the network’s compound in Quezon City. It was uploaded on the media network's official social media account.

The image at the bottom was taken three years ago on April 14, 2017 where around 3,000 Catholics joined a “Penitential Walk for Life” on Good Friday, a religious holiday marked by processions commemorating the suffering and death of Christ. The photo was taken by a freelance photographer who joined the event and posted it on his FB account.

The walk along Roxas Boulevard was also a call to “preserve life” and stop the revival of the death penalty and halt extrajudicial killings in the government’s war on drugs. However, according to FB’s Claim Check tool, this photo alone has been circulated several times on social media without context; the image in the uploader’s album has been shared over 11,000 times.

The misleading post was uploaded days after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines released a pastoral letter on July 16 expressing “disbelief” over what it described as the government’s railroading of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. The letter also noted the “chilling effect” of the closure of the largest media conglomerate in the country.

Pinas Ang Ina Nyo, which has a history of sharing misleading posts, was created on August 8, 2015.

(This fact check was produced by a student from the University of the Philippines Diliman who is doing his internship with VERA Files.)

(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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