MANILA, Philippines – From claims about the elections to issues related to government programs, the economy, and the pandemic, lies were everywhere in 2022.
To help combat falsehoods spreading on social media, several newsrooms, civil society groups, business organizations, and research and legal groups banded together to form an anti-disinformation initiative dubbed #FactsFirstPH in January.
The coalition was recognized in an international fact-checking conference as most innovative and impactful.
We have collated some of the most repeated lies about pressing issues this year that were debunked by #FactsFirstPH partners, including ABKD Network, Altermidya, Baguio Chronicle, Daily Guardian, Davao Today, Interaksyon, Mindanao Gold Star, News5, OneNewsPH, PressOne, and Rappler, among others. (LIST: Organizations that are part of the #FactsFirstPH initiative)
As a reader and social media user, you can support this initiative by sharing these fact checks or keeping this list in handy so you come equipped with the right information to debunk false claims.
Check out the fact checks debunking the biggest lies of 2022:
Fact checks about the 2022 PH elections
This year’s presidential elections was a top issue that Filipinos cared about. Alongside this, the high-stakes elections stirred not only hopes and fears for the country but also a lot of false claims on social media.
These included false claims about election results, fake endorsements that even included some international personalities, crowd estimates, and campaign propaganda. Here are some of them:
- News5: Vlogger’s claim of hatched plan to cheat Marcos on election day is false
- ABKD: [FALSE] Nakialam ang Central Intelligence Agency sa halalan noong Mayo 2022
- Rappler: FALSE: Marcos Jr. got biggest electoral mandate in Philippine history
- News5:Tweet claiming Robredo’s Angat Buhay NGO to breed ‘new government’ is fake
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Maaaring palitan ang boto sa vote-counting machine gamit ang USB at ‘codes’
- OneNewsPH: FACT CHECK: FB Post Claiming Sara Duterte-Carpio Is First Incumbent Mayor Elected As VP Is False
- ABKD: [FALSE] Communist Party of the Philippines, may open endorsement sa kandidatura ni Leni Robredo
- Altermidya: FACT CHECK: Facebook post falsely claims Leni-Kiko tandem, Kabataan Partylist are allies of the CPP-NPA-NDF
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Nagpahayag ng suporta si Jacinda Ardern kay Marcos Jr.
- PressOne: FACT-CHECK: Duterte did not endorse Leni Robredo for president
- Baguio Chronicle: Prince Charles, heir apparent to the British throne, was happy that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the new president of the Philippines
- OneNewsPH: FACT CHECK: UK’s Tower Bridge, Other Famous Landmarks Lighting Up Red, Green for Marcos-Duterte Win is False
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Pagbati ni Queen Elizabeth II kay Marcos Jr.
- Davao Today: FACT CHECK: Bangui Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte is not BBM’s project
- Baguio Chronicle: Marcos Jr. claims that his father’s Masagana 99 increased farming production and lowered food prices
- News5: Marcos falsely claims that China as an election issue was raised for the first time in May 2022 polls
- ABKD: [FALSE] Pilipinas, pangalawang pinakamayan sunod sa Japan noong panahon ni Marcos?
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Pinatunayan ng BSP na nag-imbak ng ginto si Marcos para sa bansa
- Altermidya: FALSE: South Korea and Singapore copied late dictator Marcos’ ‘economic blueprint’
- Daily Guardian: Guinness denies UniTeam supporters’ longest caravan claim
Fact checks about government programs
Lies about the government programs that are too good to be true did not stop spreading this year.
Some false claims that were debunked by #FactsFirstPH partners zoomed into the false promises for our labor and economy, credit grabbing of infrastructure efforts and other government programs, changes in education curriculum and program, and the impact of efforts to improve security in the country.
Below is a list:
Labor and economy
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Itataas ang national minimum wage sa P750
- ABKD: [MISLEADING] Pagbabalik ng Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF), Pipigil sa Pagtaas ng Presyo ng Langis
- ABKD: [FALSE] Balik Scientist Program, nagsulong ng Deuterium Mining sa Pilipinas
- Rappler: Claim that Cory signed law on contractualization is false
- Altermidya: FACT CHECK: PH economy has ‘strongly bounced back’ from repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic
- Mindanao Gold Star: Misleading: PH fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia
- ABKD: [FALSE] Rodrigo Duterte, pinatayuan ang lahat ng isla ng Pilipinas ng imprastraktura
- ABKD: [FALSE] Metro Manila Subway Project, popondohan gamit ang Marcos “wealth”
- News5: Bongbong Marcos rehashes false claims he started wind farm in Ilocos Norte
- Interaksyon: False: World’s most expensive railway system constructed under PNoy
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Aamyendahan ni Sara Duterte ang K-12 program upang gawing K-14
- ABKD: [FALSE] Panukala ni BBM ang Free Tuition sa State Universities
- News5: Quote card claiming Sara will ask Congress for K14+ curriculum is fake
- OneNewsPH: FACT CHECK: Bong Go Didn’t Propose To Add ‘Life And Works Of Duterte’ In College Curriculum
Justice and security
- News5: Ex-defense chief and presidential bet’s claim that Philippine laws don’t address rebellion lacks context
- News5: Lacson falsely claims only Anti-Terrorism Act provided several safeguards to ensure human rights
- ABKD: [FALSE] War On Drugs ni Duterte, ginawang ligtas at tahimik ang bansa
- Davao Today: FACT CHECK: BBM’s claim that ICC can only act if a country has no ‘functioning judiciary’ needs context
Fact checks about the Philippine economy
The Philippines’ inflation reached a 14-year high in November 2022. Unfortunately, several of these claims touched on unpaid debt being paid, sovereign funds and other sources of funds like an alleged gold stash, inflation and alleged low inflation, and the impacts of investments.
Income and revenue
- Rappler: MISSING CONTEXT: Non-tax revenue constitutes 6% of the PH’s total income
- Interaksyon: False: Claims on TikTok videos that P820 daily minimum wage is approved
- Rappler: Philippines not the only country without a sovereign wealth fund
- Mindanao Gold Star: False: Marcos heirs not liable for estate tax
Inflation and prices
- ABKD: [FALSE] Administrasyong Marcos Jr., walang magagawa upang pigilan ang inflation sa bansa
- ABKD: [MISLEADING] Pagkapanalo ni BBM, bumaba ang presyo ng bilihin at tumaas ang sahod
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Magiging P20 kada kilo ang presyo ng bigas simula Mayo 16
- Rappler: FALSE: PH only ASEAN nation with projected positive GDP growth in July 2022
- Altermidya :FALSE: Rice now sold at P20 per kilo following Marcos Jr.’s victory
Investments and debt
- ABKD: [FALSE] Maharlika Investment Fund, magtatanggal ng monopolyo sa kuryente at tubig
- News5: Vlogger’s YouTube claims Duterte had paid back all of Philippines’ debt is misleading
- Baguio Chronicle: Claim: The Marcoses will use the Maharlika Fund to access the gold that they will distribute to Filipinos ala Santa Claus
- News5: FACT CHECK | Video falsely claims Marcoses’ P203 billion estate tax already paid
Fact checks about the pandemic
It’s 2022 but claims about the pandemic are still rampant. In times like these, unverified reports and misleading posts online can spread as fast and as wide as the virus itself.
This year, many false claims about the pandemic talked about the false side effects of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine deployment.
Vaccine side effects and hesitancy
- Rappler: Most systemic reactions among children reported in a US CDC survey are mild
- Rappler: Spike proteins produced by COVID-19 vaccines are not toxic
- News5: Montemayor’s claim that vaccination exposes people to COVID-19 is false
- Altermidya: FACT CHECK: President Duterte falsely claims that the CPP is behind vaccine hesitancy in Southern Mindanao
- ABS-CBN: FACT CHECK: ‘Di totoong nakakapagpasa ng COVID-19 ang pagbabakuna
- Rappler: HINDI TOTOO: Matagumpay ang COVID-19 vaccination dahil sa mabuting relasyon ni Duterte sa China at Russia
And some of the weirdest fact checks
Even if some claims were obviously not true, these claims had to be debunked.
This year, some of the weirdest fact checks were about the alleged health benefits you can gain when using certain items, false explanations of weather phenomenon and monitoring, and conspiracy theories.
- Rappler: FALSE: COVID-19 vaccines eliminate ‘God Particle’ in the body
- Baguio Chronicle: “Astronaut Pills” can be mass-produced to feed the poor
- Altermidya: FACT CHECK: Video Doctored To Tout Unproven Diabetes Treatment
- OneNewsPH: FACT CHECK: No Evidence ‘Detox Foot Pads’ Can Treat Various Medical Conditions And Illnesses, Experts Say
- Interaksyon: Fact or fake? Demystifying myths about pneumonia and pneumococcal vaccines
History and conspiracy theories
- ABKD: [FALSE] Ginamit ng Diyos si Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. upang maging “steward” ng kayamanan niya sa mundo
- ABKD: [FALSE] Jose Rizal, nakaligtas sa Bagumbayan at nakatrabaho si Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.
- ABKD: [FALSE] Nagsasabwatan ang mga Oligarko at Aktibista upang pasamain ang imahe ng Administrasyong Marcos Jr.
- ABKD: [FALSE] Ninoy Aquino, nag-organisa ng Moro secession at Communist insurgency
- ABKD: [FALSE] Mga pinsan ni Cory Aquino ang nagpapatay kay Ninoy Aquino
- ABKD: [FALSE] “Land of Gold” ang Pilipinas at si Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ang tagapangalaga ng ginto nito
- News5: Dictator’s political party’s claims Marcos got hundreds of thousands ton of gold from a non-existent Malay royal family is false
- Interaksyon: FAKE: Post claiming King Philip bequeathed kingship to Marcos Sr.
- Mindanao Gold Star FALSE: Marcos Sr did not steal but rather took care of the gold for the Filipino people
- Baguio Chronicle: Igorots have tails
- Baguio Chronicle: Darryl Yap is listed by Forbes as among the most obnoxious people under 30 worldwide
- Daily Guardian: FALSE: Chris Rock says he forgives Will Smith but not the Marcoses
With the help of the other partners in the mesh layer, these fact checks were also promoted on several social media pages of our partners, and shared as videos, cartoons, translations to other local languages, and other executions to reach a wider audience across the country.
If you spot other claims on social media, report them to https://factsfirst.ph/tipline.
And together, let’s put facts first this 2023. – Rappler.com