FALSE: CBCP ‘circular’ urging bishops to report scammer

FALSE: CBCP ‘circular’ urging bishops to report scammer
The circular was manipulated, and the 'CBCP Official' Facebook page that posted it is fake


Claim: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released a circular urging bishops to report a certain scammer.

The alleged circular was posted by the Facebook page CBCP Official. The image contained the letterhead of the CBCP, was labeled “Circular No. 20-26,” and dated May 1.

The circular addressed all bishops and diocesan administrators.

It urged the recipients to do a “mass report” on Facebook and YouTube, and said that accounts will be reported to the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division.

The circular also asked the bishops and diocesan administrators not to post a statement so as not to trigger attention and curiosity that will draw more people to the social media accounts.

As of writing, the post gained 214 reactions, 523 comments, and 294 shares.

Readers sent this claim to Rappler for verification.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The circular was manipulated, and the “CBCP Official” Facebook page is fake.

The original advisory released by the CBCP Secretariat to the dioceses was meant to address the “CBCP Official” Facebook page, labeling it as “fake.” This circular asked bishops and diocesan administrators to mass report the page to Facebook. 

The page manipulated the original circular and posted an altered one that changed the subject to the alleged scammer. 

“The ‘CBCP official’ is a fake CBCP Facebook page and the supposed circular it posted was manipulated,” CBCP media office member Roy Lagarde told Rappler.

The altered circular also changed the number of the circular to “20-26” and changed the date to May 1.

However, as posted by church-run Radio Veritas, CBCP Circular No. 20-26 was about the National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Rappler debunked other false claims about the CBCP – a statement about Sister Patricia Fox that was also falsely attributed to it, along with a post that alleged it owned stocks in San Miguel Corporation. – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com 

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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