VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website recycles FALSE CLAIM on ‘new MRT trains’ under Duterte admin

A misleading story was published Aug. 7 by website, claiming President Rodrigo Duterte brought in 48 new train coaches for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) less than a year since he took office.

It carried a video that splices together two 2017 news reports and bore the headline, “GOOD NEWS: TATAK DUTERTE! WALA PANG ISANG TAON 48 BRAND NEW TREN NA, IWAS TRAFFIC NA MGA KA DDS (Good news: A Duterte trademark! Not even a year in, 48 new trains! Less traffic now fellow DDS)!”

Uploaded on Youtube March 1, 2017 by channel Duterte NEWS PORTAL, the video featured UNTV’s and News5’s reports that day about four new MRT-3 coaches – out of 48 – undergoing their last stage of testing.

While the delivery of the train cars was completed in January 2017, six months after Duterte took office, the project was initiated during his predecessor’s term.

Chinese train car manufacturer Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., CNR Group of China, was awarded the contract for the MRT-3 Capacity Expansion Project by the then Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) in January 2014. The company began sending out the coaches in tranches in January 2016, but none of these had been used because they were found to be “overweight” for the MRT-3’s current railway. published the misleading story almost a week after Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade said he will be in talks with Dalian about the coaches, and a decision to “use or not use” the coaches will be made by Aug 20. Should the new coaches be unusable, he said, there will only be 12 cars running for the duration of the railway’s planned rehabilitation.’s story could have reached over 283,000 people. The website was created on July 27; Duterte NEWS PORTAL 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.)

Share the Facts