Fact check - private individuals

FACT CHECK: Mauling of senior citizen reported by Tacloban Today never happened – police

Rowel C. Montes

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FACT CHECK: Mauling of senior citizen reported by Tacloban Today never happened – police
No information was provided to support the allegation, says the Tacloban City Police Office

Claim: Five minors assaulted a senior citizen in front of a fast food restaurant on Rizal Avenue, Tacloban City, on December 19. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook post bearing the claim has over 1,200 reactions, 203 comments, and 236 shares as of writing.

What the post says: The Tacloban Today Facebook page made the post on December 20, providing details of the alleged incident as told by a concerned citizen. 

The post, which was in Waray-waray, said that the incident occurred outside McDonald’s on Rizal Avenue at about 10 pm on December 19. The concerned citizen allegedly witnessed five minors grabbing food bought by a senior citizen and assaulting the man.

“Intawon waray nahimo an lagas ngan natumba pa ini dida han karsada ngan gindara pa an iya wallet. Naundang la an nananabo han ginguliatan namon an mga kabataan. Nanmiling kami hin pulis harani han lugar pero waray namon nakit-an,” the post read.

(The old man was helpless and fell to the pavement and his wallet was taken. The incident was only stopped when we shouted at them. We looked around to ask for police assistance but there were no police around.)

The Tacloban Today page posts updates on various local products and businesses. It also occasionally posts brief news content from Tacloban city hall and national news media. Its page type on Facebook is listed under the category “Advertising/Marketing.”

The facts: The supposed incident did not happen, and no other information supports the allegation, according to the Tacloban City Police Office (TCPO). In a statement released on Sunday, December 24, the TCPO said, “The investigation yielded that the incident did not occur as corroborated by the statement obtained from the security guard.”

Tacloban Today also refused to disclose more details or reveal who the eyewitness, who had requested anonymity, was, the TCPO added. 

The TCPO encouraged Taclobanons to be responsible in the use of social media and report factual information to authorities to ensure public safety and the integrity of information shared online. – Rappler.com

Rowel Montes is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow for 2023-2024.

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