Duterte Fact Checks

FALSE: Japanese gov’t publication reported Duterte’s highest rating among Asian leaders

Rappler
FALSE: Japanese gov’t publication reported Duterte’s highest rating among Asian leaders
The Japan Times is a privately-owned newspaper. The Pulse Asia survey it quoted didn't compare Duterte with other heads of government.
At a glance:
  • Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte’s high approval ratings were recognized by a Japanese government publication, The Japan Times. Meanwhile, the mainstream media in the Philippines did not report on this.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: The Japan Times is a privately-owned newspaper that published in October 2020 an article on Duterte’s Pulse Asia approval ratings. Filipino media outlets reported about this survey as well. The Pulse Asia ratings did not compare Duterte with the leaders of other countries. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: The Youtube video with this claim has 69,061 views as of writing. 
Complete details:

On Saturday, March 27, verified Youtube channel “Showbiz Fanaticz” posted a video titled “BREAKING: President DUTERTE, NAI-FEATURE sa INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE na ‘THE JAPAN TIMES’| ‘APPROVED!'” (BREAKING: President DUTERTE, featured in an international magazine called “The Japan Times”| “Approved!”).

According to the video, President Rodrigo Duterte was featured in the Japanese government-owned publication The Japan Times for his leadership and COVID-19 response. It also claimed that the Japanese government recognized Duterte’s approval ratings, comparing the ratings to be higher than those of its own prime minister and higher than those of  leaders of neighboring countries.

It also said that the mainstream media in the Philippines didn’t report on this.

This post was spotted by Rappler through CrowdTangle.

The claims are false. 

The Japan Times is not a Japanese government publication or magazine. The Japan Times is a privately-owned newspaper company based in Tokyo which has an online presence.

The original October 2020 Japan Times article cited in the video was actually a report by wire agency Reuters, which the news site carried. It didn’t compare Duterte’s approval ratings with those of other world leaders. The Pulse Asia survey itself, which the article cited, didn’t compare Duterte’s performance with other countries’ leaders either.

The article did not praise the President’s approval ratings, it only reported on Duterte’s approval ratings based on the survey.

The video also incorrectly quoted a line in The Japan Times article, claiming that the Philippines was forecast to see a “6.9% economic construction this year.” The correct quote from the article was a “6.9% economic contraction.”

Several major news outlets reported on Duterte’s September/October 2020 Pulse Asia approval ratings, including Rappler, ABS-CBN, CNN Philippines, GMA News, Philstar, Inquirer and Reuters, among others.

Rappler has fact-checked multiple videos from the YouTube channel. – Therese Litonjua/Rappler.com

Therese Litonjua is a Rappler intern. This 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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