VERA FILES YEARENDER: And 2017’s False Claim of the Year is…

We asked VERA Files Fact Check readers what they thought was the false claim of the year. They picked President Rodrigo Duterte’s flip-flops on his wealth. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: In his own words: Duterte sometimes poor, sometimes rich)

In some speeches the president claimed he came from a poor family, while in others claimed he is rich and had inherited a fortune from his parents. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Multimillionaire Duterte says ‘I am not a millionaire’)

Watch Duterte’s flip-flops in this video from October.

The president’s conflicting claims on his wealth was chosen false claim of the year by more than a third of the voters.

Coming in second, getting close to a fifth of the votes, was the series of false claims by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Communications Operations Office which distorted the real outcome of the Philippine human rights report at the United Nations. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Timeline of false claims by PH gov’t on UN human rights report)

Third, with close to a sixth of the votes, was Solicitor General Jose Calida’s claim that “the biggest case that was decided during my watch was the West Philippine Sea case,” a case already decided before he was in office. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Should credit go to Calida for winning the West Philippine Sea case?)

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative.)