Sinulog Festival Queen 2020 Monika Afable was kidnapped and raped by 3 men while she was selling goods. The kidnapping was supposedly captured on CCTV cameras.
The website gmanewsupdatestoday.blogspot.com made this claim in an undated post with the headline: “CCTV FOOTAGE: Sinulog Festival Queen 2020 Monika Afable Dinukot at Ginahasa ng 3 Lalake Habang Nagtitinda ito.”
The webpage does not have any other text, but has one embedded video and 11 ads.
When the embedded video is clicked, only a few seconds of a news report play before a pop-up asks users to share the link with the hashtag #Justice4MonikaAfable in order for the rest to play.
This claim was flagged by Facebook’s Claim Check, a tool used by its 3rd party fact checking partners, as possibly false or misleading. According to Claim Check, this began to circulate as early as July 14 and has been shared around 1,349 times.
No legitimate news organization has reported on Afable’s supposed kidnapping and the video embedded in the blog is totally unrelated to her.
The video that was embedded is a news report by GMA News TV, which they uploaded on their official YouTube channel on June 17, 2019. It was entitled “SONA: Pagdukot umano sa isang lalaki sa Pasay, nakunan ng CCTV.” (SONA: Kidnapping of a man in Pasay, caught on CCTV)
GMA’s report shows the CCTV footage of a man in Pasay being kidnapped and forced into a vehicle. His kidnappers then bribed onlookers with cash to leave the scene.
Rappler found the original GMA News report by copying the URL of the video embedded in gmanewsupdatestoday.blogspot.com.
The video’s thumbnail image shows a pageant photo of Afable from her Instagram account as well as a photo of her selling biribid or sweet snacks on the streets of Borongan, Samar, which went viral among Facebook users on July 14. These were superimposed on a screenshot of the GMA News report.
Afable’s last Instagram update as of posting was on July 18, 2020, which is after the posts about her supposed kidnapping began to circulate.
The blog gmanewsupdatestoday.blogspot.com redirects to the website randomnames.club. Claims from this website that Rappler has fact checked include celebrity death hoaxes and false claims regarding current events. – Pia Rodrigo/Rappler.com