Claim: ABS-CBN wrongly reported that “thousands” attended a rally at the People Power Monument, when, in fact, just “about 50 people” joined the protests.
Facebook user Joe Kim Ong posted a graphic comparing photos of the rally as seen on social media to what ABS-CBN supposedly reported. Ong put the “social media” photo at the top and the “ABS-CBN report” at the bottom.
He then captioned his post: “ung magbalita ang ABIAS-CBN Libo-libo ang lumahok sa rally kahit nasa 50 lang na katao.. Ang sabi pa nila nasa 11,000 mahigit daw ang kanilang Empleyado pero ng silipin ng BIR lumabas na 4,401 lang pala ito.. Tulad nila si Leni Robredo na 4×40=1,600…”
(ABIAS-CBN reported thousands attended the rally even though only about 50 people came. They also said their employees are over 11,000 but the BIR said they only employ 4,401 people. They are like Leni Robredo who says 4 times 4 is 1,600.)
The post did not specify which rally it was referring to, but Ong shared the graphic on Monday, February 24 – two days after a few groups staged a protest and prayer vigil at the EDSA People Power Monument in Quezon City. It was also the eve of the 34th EDSA revolution anniversary.
As of writing, it had been shared 289 times on Facebook and had 415 reactions and 72 comments. Facebook’s monitoring tool called Claim Check flagged Ong’s post for fact checkers to verify.
The facts: None of ABS-CBN’s recent articles on rallies and on the EDSA People Power revolution included the image labeled “ABS-CBN report” on Ong’s post. The photo of the crowd was a stock photo of Iglesia ni Cristo members gathered at the Philippine Arena.
Rappler also reached out to Ong to ask for the source of his post, but we received no response.
Meanwhile, the image labeled “social media” in Ong’s post was from an event on February 22, where a few groups organized a rally at the People Power Monument. This was also reported by several news outlets including ABS-CBN, Philippine Star, and GMA News Online.
ABS-CBN even tweeted similar photos from the event. There was also no mention of “thousands” attending the protests in their report.
TINGNAN: Sa isang kilos protesta at prayer vigil sa EDSA People Power Monument ngayong Sabado, binatikos ng mga grupong Kilusan Kontra Tsina at Bunyog ang anila'y presensya at pangingibaw ng interes ng China sa Pilipinas. | via @arraperezDZMM pic.twitter.com/BPfx8UYBrL
TINGNAN: Sa isang kilos protesta at prayer vigil sa EDSA People Power Monument ngayong Sabado, binatikos ng mga grupong Kilusan Kontra Tsina at Bunyog ang anila'y presensya at pangingibaw ng interes ng China sa Pilipinas. | via @arraperezDZMM pic.twitter.com/BPfx8UYBrL— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) February 22, 2020
On February 24, the day Ong posted the graphic on Facebook, ABS-CBN also published a photo of protesters calling for press freedom in Quezon City on the eve of the EDSA revolution anniversary. ABS-CBN did not claim that the attendees there were “thousands,” either.
As of February 26, the bills on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal remain pending in Congress. If the franchise is not renewed and a provisional permit granted by the National Telecommunications Commission is questioned in court, the media network’s broadcast arm would have to cease operations after its expiration on May 4. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com
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