Pro-Duterte Facebook pages have been sharing misleading photos to trumpet how President Rodrigo Duterte had transformed Pasig River, Manila Bay and Boracay they said his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, had left in disarray.
Photos of how the three locations supposedly looked like under Aquino were labeled “Panahon ng Disente” or “Disente Time” and those under Duterte as “Panahon ng Bastos” or “Bastos Time.”
Disente means decent in English and bastos, rude.
The Thinking Pinoy, Sara Du30 Supporters for 2020 and DDS Drei Natabio, the pages behind the “Disente-Bastos” photo juxtapositions, were mocking actress-singer Sharon Cuneta who said in a June 29 live Instagram video interview she hoped Vice President Leni Robredo would run for president and win in 2022 to restore decency among Filipinos.
“Baka sakaling bumalik ang pagka-disente ng karamihan sa atin (Perhaps it would restore decency in most of us),” said Cuneta, whose daughter Frankie Pangilinan has been the target of a rape threat online.
Robredo is chair of Liberal Party that Aquino led from 2010 to 2016 when he was president.
Sara Du30 Supporters for 2022
A photo juxtaposition uploaded July 3 by Sara Du30 Supporters for 2022 is overlaid with the text “Panahon ng Disente, Pasig River, Aquino Term” for the top image of a public market overlooking a trash-clogged waterway with informal settlers.
The text “Panahon ng Bastos, Pasig River River, Duterte Term” accompanies the bottom image of the same market, now renovated, overlooking a cleaned-up, plant-lined waterway with no more informal settlers.
FactRakers, through reverse image search, traced both images to a photo essay published May 23, 2011 by the Asian Development Bank featuring the massive cleanup of the 2.9-kilometer Estero de Paco, a tributary of Pasig River.
The "Panahon ng Bastos" photo of a clean Estero de Paco was clearly taken before Duterte became president; it was taken during Aquino's term.
The estero cleanup, renovation of the market and relocation of informal settlers were part of Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig, a Pasig River rehabilitation project initiated by Gina Lopez through ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan program.
The project was launched in February 2009 when Gloria Arroyo, not Aquino, was president and the condition of Estero de Paco had worsened, as captured in the "Panahon ng Disente" picture.
The ADB in 2012 provided the Philippine government technical assistance to design a pilot project that sought to improve the environmental conditions of the estuary.
The Thinking Pinoy
A day earlier, The Thinking Pinoy published a collage of six photos showing what he claimed was the state of Pasig River, Manila Bay and Boracay during “Disente Time” and “Bastos Time.”
In reality, the image overlaid with the text “Ilog Pasig Disente Time” (Pasig River Decent Time) was taken when Duterte was already president, a reverse image search done by FactRakers shows.
The photo of two men traversing a sea of garbage choking San Juan River in Mandaluyong was shot by Michael Varcas for Philippine Star and was published April 19, 2018 on the newspaper’s Facebook page for the post that reads:
One man's trash is another man's treasure. Trash collectors have their hands full combing through a sea of garbage that has been mindlessly dumped into the lifeless San Juan River, Mandaluyong City on Thursday.
The Thinking Pinoy also reused photos that Agence France Presse (AFP) had already found to have been taken out of context: These were during Duterte’s time but made to appear as though they were during Aquino’s term.
The photo with the text overlay, “Manila Bay Disente Time,” was a file photo of the aftermath of typhoon "Ompong" at Manila Bay published in December 2019 also by Philippine Star, according to AFP. Ompong struck the Philippines in September 2018 during the Duterte presidency.
The Sara Du30 Supporters for 2022 also ran the same misleading photo in its July 3 post, “MANILA BAY CLEAN UP PROGRAM or MANILA BAY REHABILITATION.”
In the case of the image of the algae-covered beach The Thinking Pinoy overlaid with the text, “Boracacy Disente Time,” AFP had come across this in a ABS-CBN report that states the photo was taken on March 22, 2018, also when Duterte was president.
DDS Drei Natabio
Also on July 2, Facebook page DDS Drei Natabio ran four photos of Boracay, labeling the top photos “Panahon ng Desinte” and the bottom ones “Panahon ng Bastos.”
FactRakers’ reverse image search shows that the image of a waterlogged section of Boracay labeled "Panahon ng Desinte" was a cropped photo Interaksyon published Dec. 18, 2017 for its report on the damage wrought by typhoon “Urduja.”
The typhoon, which made several landfalls in the Philippines, had flooded parts of Boracay. Duterte, not Aquino, was president in 2017.
The Thinking Pinoy’s post has collected 59,000 likes, 3,700 comments and 22,000 shares. The page has a following of nearly 1.7 million.
Sara Du30 Supporters for 2022’s photo juxtaposition of Estero de Paco has generated 1,700 likes, 201 comments and 1,000 shares. Its post on Manila Bay has drawn 1,400 likes, 61 comments and 145 shares. The page has more than 75,000 followers.
DDS Drei Natabio’s post has gathered 1,300 likes, 293 comments and 3,500 shares. The page has 47,000 followers.
AFP Philippines. (2020, June 5). These photos of the Philippines have been shared in a misleading context. Retrieved from https://factcheck.afp.com/these-photos-philippines-have-been-shared-misleading-context
Asian Development Bank. (2011, May 23). Manila's Pasig River - Getting clean, growing healthier [Photo Essay]. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/news/photo-essays/manilas-pasig-river-getting-clean-growing-healthier
Asian Development Bank. (2012). Philippines: Design of a pilot project to improve environmental conditions of Estero de Paco. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/projects/46308-001/main
DDS Drei Natabio. (2020, July 2). BORACAY sa Panahon ng Desinte at Bastos. Thank you DENR. Sec Cimatu and DPWH Sec.Mark Villar [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/ddsdreinatabio/photos/a.1767422503525733/2664586200476021/?type=3&theater
Interaksyon. (2017, December 18). WATCH & LOOK | #UrdujaPH official toll, so far: At least 31 dead, 49 missing. Retrieved from https://www.interaksyon.com/breaking-news/2017/12/18/113722/watch-look-urdujaph-official-toll-so-far-at-least-31-dead-49-missing/
Lopez, G. (2011, January 23). A river runs through us. Philippine Star. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/lifestyle/sunday-life/2011/01/23/650135/lifestyle
Philippine Star. (2018, April 19). One man's trash is another man's treasure. Trash collectors have their hands full combing through a sea of garbage that has been mindlessly dumped into the lifeless San Juan River, Mandaluyong City on Thursday [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineSTAR/posts/one-mans-trash-is-another-mans-treasure-trash-collectors-have-their-hands-full-c/1025684097585271/
Sara Du30 Supporters for 2022. (2020, July 3). [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/SaraDaugh30/photos/pcb.195016562025053/195005228692853/?type=3&theater
Sara Du30 Supporters for 2022. (2020, July 3). Manila Bay clean up program or Manila Bay rehabilitation… [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/SaraDaugh30/photos/pcb.195016562025053/195008932025816/?type=3&theater
Sharon Cuneta Network. (2020, June 29). My IG Live earlier tonight. June 29, 2020 [Video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/HMh3uARt5CE
Simeon, L. (2018, December 17). Boracay-like rehab eyed for Manila Bay. Philippine Star. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/nation/2018/12/17/1877534/boracay-rehab-eyed-manila-bay
The Thinking Pinoy. (2020, July 2). Hala! Na-share. [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/TheThinkingPinoy/photos/a.618019291678511/1732663076880788/?type=3&theater