Notes and trends on election-related disinformation from verified claims and fact-checks of partners.

From one interview to another

Voters tuned in to another set of presidential interviews that transpired this week. While viewers praised the previous week’s challenging interrogation conducted by a multi-awarded journalist, this week’s session, which was hosted by an entertainment talk show host, met a lot of criticism. Netizens expressed disappointment because he appeared to have coddled Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s banal answers while constantly interrupting the other presidential candidates.

Social media were swamped by opinions over those interviews, alongside the related falsehoods. One claim asserts that the network that hosted the first interviews lost millions after Marcos declined to appear. Another, disseminated by a staunch critic of Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, circulated false news that Robredo declined an interview with a radio network, and thus even things up with Marcos.

Among fact checks made this week came from quotes made by the presidential hopefuls present during two interviews. Fact-checkers debunked claims on candidates Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Sen. Ping Lacson.

More fake endorsements

More fake endorsements of Marcos proliferated on social media, often attributed to famous personalities: beauty queen Venus Raj; television host and actress Kris Aquino; in separate instances, several Camarines Sur mayors; food chain Jollibee; and a supposed “princess of Arabia,” who turned out to be the adult star Mia Khalifa.

Falsehoods concerning the regime of the ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and his family’s ill-gotten wealth were also caught by partners. They include claims of cheaper electricity and a three-month employee regularization program during his presidency, becoming the youngest Filipino politician in history, and their involvement with the Yamashita treasure. All these were fact-checked and disproven.

Disinformation targeted at Robredo

Robredo faced the most attacks from disinformation campaigns among presidential candidates. The issues raised were on the safety of drinking water donated to the Office of the Vice President, her efforts in the relief operations after typhoon “Ulysses,” and in multiple instances, her support to the victims of the Marawi siege. A claim alleges a tie-up with social media company Facebook. A Facebook page dedicated to the Robredo campaign was also falsely accused of being formerly a page that objectified women.

Previous posts

Debunking claims surrounding the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant controversy:

Other must-read fact by our partners checks this week:

 FELIPE JOSE GONZALES is a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippines’ elections. It is an initiative of academe, media and civil society to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.