​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website posts FALSE CONTEXT of corruption claim on PNoy

A 2018 news report on allegations of anomaly against former President Benigno Aquino III’s government recently resurfaced after a dubious website reposted it as new in September.

Website Pinas Trends (pinastrends.xyz) on Sept. 25 published the misleading article with the headline:

SA WAKAS! KUMPIRMADONG MULTI-BILLION ANOMALYA SA AQUINO PROJECTS, NADISKUBRE NG ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION (Finally! Confirmed multi-billion anomaly in Aquino projects discovered by the Anti-Corruption Commission).

Included as thumbnail was a photo of Aquino, with the pictures of a gavel, peso bills, the House of Representatives’ plenary hall, and the text “DAP: Disbursement Acceleration Program” in the background.

A search on the internet of the headline yielded a number of other articles with similar titles as well as the source -- a May 17, 2018 ABS-CBN News report on the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission’s probe on a “large scale” anomaly that allegedly happened during Aquino’s term.

Comparing Pinas Trends’ article with that of ABS-CBN’s report, shows the former is a translated and rearranged version of the latter. The same information on the issue was presented, and the same quote by Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) was used.

The search also yielded a Sept. 24, 2018 article by another dubious website -- Pilipinas News Ngayon. It is a carbon copy of what Pinas Trends published, except for the word “BReaking” added in the headline of the article. Another website, News Box Ph, published Aug. 3 this year an article which only duplicated the first two paragraphs of Pinas Trends’ article.

The three websites, which are all operated on Blogspot, have neither an About Us nor a Contact Us page, raising red flags on their legitimacy and credibility.

Pinas Trends’ outdated and misleading article was shared by netizens after a recent photo of Aquino went viral. The article could have reached a total of 2.2 million social media users and was reacted to 13,000 times. Its top traffic generators are Facebook groups SARA DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT 2022 ELECTIONS, MARCOS LOYALIST, and Tulfo Brothers Worldwide, all of which have been flagged by VERA Files in its previous fact checks.

(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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