Claim: Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque warned television networks “GMA7” and “ABC5” or TV5, and other critics of the President that if they went against the President, everyone will be against them.
The quote card, supposedly produced by Inquirer.net, included the date May 6, 2020.
“Let this serve as a warning to GMA7 and ABC5 and other critics of the President. If you are with [President Rodrigo] Duterte then who can be against you. But if you are not with Duterte then everybody will be against you. You have been warned!” the quote card read.
At least 3 posts with the same quote card were flagged by Facebook Claim Check, the platform’s tool for monitoring posts with potentially false information.
The first individual flagged by Claim Check called “Levi Bumagat Ramelb” on Facebook included the caption, “Kaya pala takot na takot GMA7 at ABC5.” (This is why GMA7 and ABC5 are so scared.)
The others were posted by a certain “Pam Anderson” and Facebook page “The Spratly Islands.” “Pam Anderson” has since deleted the post.
The facts: Roque did not say the quote attributed to him. In his interviews with PTV4 and ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) on Wednesday, May 6, Roque did not issue any warning to any television network.
Inquirer.net also posted on its social media platforms that the quote card was manipulated. Next to the manipulated photo, Inquirer.net showed its real quote card where Roque said the shutdown order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) took him by surprise.
In Roque’s appearance on PTV4, he also said that the shutdown of ABS-CBN “saddened” Malacañang since it would not be able to help report news and expand coverage of the government’s briefings on the coronavirus pandemic response.
“Nalulungkot din kami dahil nabawasan ang magca-carry ng Laging Handa, magca-carry ng Presidential press briefing natin, at magbibigay ng balita sa ating mga kababayan. Pero inaasahan namin ang PTV4, ang GMA, ang CNN, ang ABC5 ay hindi naman magkukulang sa kanilang tungkulin, at pupunuan ang kung ano man ang dapat punuan dito sa pangangailangan na mag-disseminate ng information,” said Roque.
(We are saddened because we have one less outlet that will carry Laging Handa, the Presidential press briefings, and disseminate news to our countrymen. But we expect that PTV4, GMA, CNN, and ABC5 will not fall short in fulfilling their responsibilities in this need to disseminate information.)
On May 6, Roque falsely claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte is “completely neutral” on the issue of the renewal of media giant ABS-CBN’s congressional franchise. He said that the President wants Congress to vote “as they please.”
Duterte has been in a years-long tussle with ABS-CBN, accusing the network of swindling and repeatedly threatening the network that its franchise would no longer be renewed. (TIMELINE: Duterte against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal)
ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on May 4. and a little over 3 hours after the NTC’s shutdown order was made known to the public, the network signed off.
On Thursday, May 7, the network filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Supreme Court, which included filing for an injunction and a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The injunction and TRO would theoretically allow ABS-CBN to go back on air.
Roque also said on Thursday that Duterte would not veto the bill allowing the network a new franchise once it reaches his desk.
On Monday, May 11, the House committee on legislative franchises issued a show cause order against the NTC over its decision. – Michelle Abad/Rappler.com
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