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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website MISLEADS with outdated story on ‘evidence’ of Duterte ouster plot

This story is misleading. Don't believe it.

May 11, 2018



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Website misleadingly recycled on May 6 a January 2017 video report claiming to show “evidence” of an ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

The video, titled “ITO ANG EBIDENSYA SA PLANONG PAGPATALSIK KAY PRES.DUTERTE, IPINALABAS SA PUBLIKO (Here’s evidence of a plan to oust Pres.Duterte, revealed to the public)!,” features screen grabs of an email exchange between California-based human rights laywer Ted Laguatan and other individuals talking about organizing mass protests against the killings in the government’s war on drugs and the hero’s burial given to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The emails were part of the “LeniLeaks” issue that broke out in January 2017, alleging Vice President Leni Robredo was corresponding online with U.S.-based Filipino groups plotting to remove Duterte from office.

While the exchange was real, Laguatan denied the ouster plot, saying the emails were “cherry-picked” to create a story showing “proof” of the plan: the part that mentions that there may be “legal grounds to remove” Duterte for violating the Constitution and Laguatan’s suggestion for protesters to carry “Duterte resign now” placards. re-published the story a day after Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said the recent attacks on Robredo regarding the vice presidential vote recount was meant to divert the public’s attention away from issues the Duterte administration is embroiled in.

The story could have reached 1.9 million people, traffic to the story largely being generated by Facebook pages President Rody Duterte -Federal Movement International, Marcos Loyalist and BongBong Marcos United. was created Jan. 2; Youtube channel Duterte NEWS PORTAL, which uploaded the video, in September 2016.

(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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