FACT CHECK: No, this is not a photo of Duterte urging voters to reject opposition candidate

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 05 2019 05:36 PM

A photo that has been shared over a thousand times on multiple Facebook pages claims to show Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte holding a banner urging voters to reject an opposition candidate.

A reverse image search found the picture had been doctored from a 2016 photograph showing Duterte holding a chart about a narcotics network.

The misleading post shows Duterte holding a white banner with the message “NO TO MAR ROXAS IN MINDANAO.”

Manuel “Mar” Roxas is running for senator in the Philippines’ legislative elections in May under the opposition Liberal Party.

Mindanao is Duterte’s home region the southern Philippines.

Here is a screenshot of the post:

Screenshot of Facebook post

When translated into English, the status says: “YES, YOU WILL GET ZERO HERE IN MINDANAO.”

A reverse image search traced the photograph back to Duterte’s Presidential Communications Office Facebook page.

The caption on the communications office image says: “President Rodrigo Duterte presents a chart illustrating a drug trade network of high-level drug syndicates in the Philippines during a press conference, July 7, 2016.”

Screenshot of Facebook post of the Presidential Communications Operations Office

The altered version of the photo, referencing Roxas, appeared on Facebook February 1, 2019.

The original photo and the doctored image contain these same details: A blue flag in the background and Duterte wearing a black polo shirt and a black watch on his left wrist.

Duterte can also be seen holding the chart in a video released by his communications staff, which was posted on YouTube July 7, 2016. The image appears at timestamp 5:14.

Here is a screengrab from the video of Duterte holding the chart:

Screenshot of video

In comments on the Facebook post that shared the altered image, some people indicated they believed it was authentic:

Screenshot of comment

The one below, when translated to English, says "Yes..Father Digong."

Screenshot of comment


Digong is Duterte's nickname and he is sometimes referred to as “father” by his supporters. 

The post was shared over 1,200 times by Facebook accounts which support Duterte and his allies. 

Screenshot of Crowdtangle data