FACT CHECK: No, this is not a map of the Philippines’ high-speed rail system

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 19 2018 06:24 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2018 09:36 PM

A widely-shared Facebook post contains a map that claims to show the Philippines’ high-speed rail system.

The map in the widely-shared Facebook post shows a series of lines running up and down the southeast Asian archipelago.

The post says: "President Duterte is doing his best to improve Philippine transport system in the Philippines".

Here is a screenshot of the post:

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post

A reverse image search showed that the picture was posted online here in February 2014.

The blog entry describes the image as "an imaginary map" of a high-speed network that spans the Philippines.

Here is a screengrab of the original post:

Screenshot of imaginary map

The blogger, Michael Gonzalez, told AFP: “Yes, that's my blog and I made that map, a complete work of fiction.”

“I never shared my work anywhere claiming that it was an actual project, so someone at some point must have taken it and shared it for malicious purposes,” he added.

Undersecretary Timothy Batan from the Department of Transportation also told AFP that the Philippines does not have a high-speed rail system yet but there are plans to eventually have one.

“There are plans to eventually build a High Speed Rail (HSR) system and the current pipeline of projects are being designed for eventual upgrading to HSR”.

He also said the correct image of the planned rail system for the Philippines is the one below:

Official map of planned Philippine high speed rail network

The post has been shared over 7,000 times by Facebook groups and pages with combined followers of nearly 630,000. Most of these Facebook accounts support Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Screenshot of CrowdTangle data