The Commission on Elections will print 67.4 million ballots for around 67.5 million voters for this year’s polls, contrary to a false claim recirculating on Facebook that it has printed 11 million extra ballots, which it warned is a portent of fraud.

In an online walk-through of the National Printing Office on Jan. 18, Comelec printing committee vice chairperson Helen Aguila said at the 15:05 mark that six units of printers and sheeting machines will produce a total of 67,442,714 ballots for the May 9 national and local elections.

The false claim was superimposed on a 2016 photo of President Rodrigo Duterte holding a diagram of his narco list. The white text on a black rectangle reads:

Mr.JIMINEZ NG COMELEC, 50M LANG ANG BOTANTE BAKIT KA NAGPA IMPRENTA NG 61M BALOTA SAAN MO GAGAMITIN YAN SOBRA NA 11MILYON sa patay (Mr. Jimenez of Comelec, there are only 50 million voters. Why did you print 61 million ballots? Where will you use the 11 million. On the dead)?

Netizens revived the false claim through shares and reposts of the fake image this month, with captions alleging the extra ballots may compromise the results of this year’s elections.

Read the full story on FactRakers.


FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department. Associate Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.