At a glance:
- Claim: Former US President George W. Bush said that the Philippines was the “wealthiest country in the world” a week after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: There are no official reports, statements, or recordings that prove Bush said this.
- Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, this post on the Facebook page “Filipino Future” has over 3,800 reactions, 2,300 shares, and 677 comments.
A Facebook post falsely claims that Former US President George W. Bush said, “The Philippines is the wealthiest country in the world today.”
The post contains the following text: “Tama ang sinabi noon ng traydor na si US President George W. Bush isang linggo pagkatapos limasin ang mga ginto sa ground zero ng Twin Tower at pabagsakin ito: ‘The Philippines is the wealthiest country in the world today.'”
(The traitor US President George W. Bush was right when he said one week after the gold was mined from Ground Zero underneath the toppled Twin Towers: “The Philippines is the wealthiest country in the world today.”)
This claim is false.
Bush did not say following the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York the supposed quote in the post, or anything similar to it.
In a collection of selected speeches by Bush from 2001 to 2008 released by the White House, the Philippines is only mentioned three times. The first was in a State of the Union Address in 2002; the second was in another SOTU Address in 2004; and the last was in remarks on the US ocean action plan in 2008. None of these mentions had anything to do with the Philippines’ supposed wealth.
Moreover, the four speeches in the collection that were dated September 2001 didn’t mention the Philippines.
A video search on Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) shows that Bush didn’t mention the Philippines, the Philippines’ wealth, or anything similar to it in his public addresses from September 11 to September 21, 2001. Bush also didn’t mention at all the retrieval operations of the vaults underneath Ground Zero during any of his presidential addresses, speeches, or statements from the time. C-SPAN is a private, non-profit, multi-platform service that provides public affairs programming.
There are only four videos videos on C-SPAN that were tagged “Philippines” during Bush’s time as president from 2001 to 2009. All of them were dated 2003, two years after the attack on the World Trade Center.
The fake quote was written in relation to false claims about the Marcos family owning tons of gold as part of their stolen wealth, and about the Philippines supposedly possessing the most gold reserves in the world. Both claims have previously been proven false by Rappler.
– Sofia Guanzon/Rappler.com
The writer is a Rappler intern. Her fact check has been reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.
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