VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video of Duterte’s ‘most powerful’ order vs leftist groups NEEDS CONTEXT

A video uploaded on Dec. 6 that has now gathered more than 459,000 views on Facebook (FB) claims President Rodrigo Duterte issued a powerful order against leftist groups.

This needs context. The clip shows a two-year-old presidential speech.

FB page Rodante Marcoleta live, however, presented it as a recent pronouncement. A text graphic flashed throughout the video read, “Breaking Balita: Ito ang pinakamabagsik na utos ni PRRD laban sa makakaliwang grupo (Breaking news: This is PRRD’s fiercest order against leftist groups)” and carried the date “December 06, 2020.” PRRD stands for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Video of Duterte’s ‘most powerful’ order vs leftist groups NEEDS CONTEXT

The FB page played on loop for eight hours a 33-minute video of Duterte’s Dec. 22, 2018 speech to soldiers at Camp General Manuel T. Yan in Mawab, Compostela Valley province in the Davao region.

Among other things, Duterte said the Communist Party of the Philippines and its “legal fronts and infrastructure” must be destroyed. Talking about the Abu Sayyaf Group which he linked to the communist New People’s Army, the president also told soldiers to not hesitate to use their guns against a perceived enemy.

Rodante Marcoleta live’s misleading video also featured a photo showing members of the Makabayan Bloc that can be traced to a June 2017 report of Radio Mindanao Network, and an image showing members of Bayan Muna party-list published by Bulatlat in May 2019.

NEEDS CONTEXT: Duterte’s powerful order vs leftist groups is from 2018

Six days before Rodante Marcoleta live posted its video, Duterte, in a pre-recorded briefing aired on Nov. 30 branded the Makabayan Bloc, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or BAYAN, and Gabriela Women’s Party as communist fronts and co-conspirators in the campaign to overthrow the government.

A day after, the Makabayan Bloc denied the allegation. Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate called Duterte’s pronouncement “a diversionary tactic” to cover up the government’s supposed ineptitude in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, while Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. France Castro called the president “king of red-taggers.”

Rodante Marcoleta live’s post received a total of 18,000 reactions, with 1,800 comments and 3,100 shares. A 17-minute version of the video was uploaded by YouTube channel PHILIPPINES MEDIA COVERAGE, and could have reached 117,000 people according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.

Rodante Marcoleta live was created in April 2017, while PHILIPPINES MEDIA COVERAGE was made in December 2018.

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