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FACT CHECK: No $1.5-trillion deal signed between PH, Zimbabwe


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FACT CHECK: No $1.5-trillion deal signed between PH, Zimbabwe
A YouTube video falsely claims that Zimbabwean non-resident Ambassador-Designate Constance Chemwayi signed a $1.5-trillion deal with the Philippines during her Malacañang visit

Claim: Zimbabwean non-resident Ambassador-Designate to the Philippines Constance Chemwayi signed a $1.5-trillion deal during her visit to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

The video which bore the claim also described Chemwayi as the richest person in the world.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The misleading video was posted on August 11 by the YouTube Channel PINAS NEWS INSIDER, which Rappler has fact-checked for making false claims. As of writing, the video has garnered 36,000 views, 2,200 likes, and 180 comments.


(Just now: OMG! It’s the first time that this has happened. The most powerful person visited President BBM. Everyone was caught by surprise!) 

The video thumbnail features a photo of Chemwayi and text describing her as the richest person in the world. The thumbnail also includes the text “$1.5 trillion pirmado na!” ($1.5 trillion, now signed!), suggesting that Chemwayi signed an agreement. 

Comments on the video commended the Marcos administration for bagging the supposed $1.5 trillion deal.

The facts: There is no such agreement signed between the Philippines and Zimbabwe. The ambassador-designate visited Malacañang on August 10 to present her credentials to Marcos. They also discussed enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries. 

No proof: Contrary to the video thumbnail, no evidence confirms that Chemwayi signed a $1.5-trillion agreement. No portion of the video also discussed the supposed deal. It only showed RTVM footage of Chemwayi’s visit and unrelated video of Marcos’ August 5 vlog discussing the government’s response for victims of recent typhoons.

A portion of the video also falsely claims that Zimbabwe possesses gold deposited by the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Aside from providing no proof to support this, the existence of the so-called Tallano Gold has been disproven numerous times.

Bilateral cooperation: During the visit, Marcos and Chemwayi expressed openness to enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Marcos said he is willing to explore potential partnerships to strengthen ties in the agricultural sector to boost the economy and develop plans for food sufficiency.

Chemwayi shared Zimbabwe’s initiative to prioritize its agricultural and infrastructure sector with the aim of becoming a middle-income country by 2030.

The Philippines and Zimbabwe have a 43-year history of diplomatic relations formally established on April 18, 1980. 

Not the richest person: The thumbnail claims that Chemwayi is the richest person in the world, but according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk holds the title with a total net worth of $217 billion. Musk is the CEO of several prominent companies such as electric car company Tesla and space exploration company SpaceX, and the owner of social network X (formerly Twitter). 

Notorious for false claims: The Youtube channel PINAS NEWS INSIDER is notorious for spreading false information favoring the Marcos administration. Rappler has repeatedly debunked false claims from the channel. 

The YouTube channel has significant reach, with about 749,000 subscribers. Most of its content centers around Marcos-Duterte propaganda. – Mark Laurenz Handayan/Rappler.com

Mark Laurenz Handayan is a 4th year Public Health student at the University of the Philippines-Manila who is volunteering under Rappler’s Research Unit. His writing interests include health, sexuality, and daily politics. 

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. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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