Duterte Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: Bukidnon concertgoers passed off as Duterte’s Tagum ‘peace rally’ attendees


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FACT CHECK: Bukidnon concertgoers passed off as Duterte’s Tagum ‘peace rally’ attendees
The photos of the crowd used in the misleading Facebook post are taken during the live performance of OPM band Ben & Ben at a birthday concert in Bukidnon on April 13

Claim: Photos show an aerial view of a huge crowd gathering for the “Hakbang ng Maisug” peace rally staged by supporters of former president Rodrigo Duterte in Tagum City. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: A compilation of photos allegedly showing an aerial view of the crowd attending the April 14 prayer rally was posted on the Facebook page named “PRRD – the Greatest,” which has 140,000 followers.

The post bears the caption: “TINGNAN | Defend the Flag Peace Rally na kasalukuyan ginaganap sa Tagum City, dinagsa ng mga tao. @followers HAKBANG NG MAISUG | April 14, 2024”

(LOOK | People flocked to the Defend the Flag Peace Rally currently happening in Tagum City. @followers HAKBANG NG MAISUG | April 14, 2024 ) 

It also included the hashtags #StopAbuseOfPower, #FilipinoAreNotForSale, and #BBMRESIGN.

As of writing, the post has received 325 combined reactions, 75 comments, and 46 shares. 

The facts: Using Google reverse image search, Rappler found that the photos used in the misleading Facebook post were not from the Duterte peace rally in Tagum City.

The original photos were taken from the birthday celebration concert for Senator Migz Zubiri held in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, and posted on the Facebook page “Viajero Series PH” on April 13, a day before the Tagum City rally. 

It was clearly stated in the caption that the aerial photos showing a massive crowd were taken during the live performance of the nine-piece OPM group Ben & Ben at the birthday concert. 


Tagum City peace rally: The Hakbang ng Maisug rally was the third rally organized by supporters of the former president to oppose the Marcos administration’s push for charter change via people’s initiative, following similar events held in Davao City last January and another gathering in Cebu in February.

Despite expecting at least 100,000 people to attend the rally, Bombo Radyo Davao reported that only around 7,500 people attended the event, according to the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office.

Since the first rally held in January, the Duterte camp has been open in its criticism of the Marcos administration. During the April 14 rally, Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to withdraw its support for Marcos, prompting some lawmakers to call for a probe into Alvarez’s “seditious” statement. 

In March, Rappler fact-checked a similar claim of a concert photo misrepresented as an aerial photo of the crowd attending the Cebu leg of the “Hakbang ng Maisug” prayer rally. – Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Thanks for the Fact-Checking. This lie made me angry.

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