VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Japan-PH partnership DID NOT use ‘Marcos’ blueprint for highway project
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A Dec. 2 Facebook (FB) post falsely claimed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippine government are using an original blueprint of the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. for a big-ticket highway project. Not true.

JICA Philippines’ Project for Master Plan on High Standard Highway Network Development (Phase 2) is a continuation of a 2010 master plan created by the agency and the Philippine government, the agency wrote in an email to VERA Files Fact Check.

The undertaking involves a plan to construct some 9,000 kilometers of “high standard highways” in the country.

Miguel Paolo Reyes, a researcher from the University of the Philippines Third World Studies Center, that conducts research on the Marcos regime, said the center came across no such blueprint attributable to Marcos in its study on the history of rail-based mass transit in Manila.

“We never encountered any infrastructure/highway plan, for Manila or for the entire country, drawn up by Ferdinand Marcos himself or in any way attributable to Marcos,” Reyes said in an email to VERA Files.

A request to verify this claim was received through the VERA Files Viber tipline.

The erroneous post by FB page Team Marcos – The Universal Movement (created on Feb. 4, 2017) read in part: “Japan & Philippines to implement the Original Blueprint of President Marcos. A vision of Apo Lakay to connect the entire Philippines via High Speed Highway is now being realized.”

It copied both the four-paragraph article, as well as a blueprint and two photos of diplomats, from a post on JICA Philippines’ official FB page published also on Dec. 2.

The agency’s original post did not mention any blueprint or contribution from Marcos Sr.

Also, the development of a national highway system called the Pan-Philippine Highway, which connects several islands in the country, dates back to 1965 during the term of former president Diosdado Macapagal. Marcos renamed it to Maharlika Highway in 1979 through Proclamation No. 1902.

Read the full story on VERA Files Fact Check.


VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit independent media organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Company Registration No. CN200808072). Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

VERA Files was founded by journalists Ellen Tordesillas, Luz Rimban, Booma Cruz, Jennifer Santiago, Yvonne T. Chua and Chit Estella (who passed away in a road crash on May 13, 2011).

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