A Tiktok video has revived an unfounded claim contained in a Facebook video that mainstream media failed to report that a wooden footbridge in Zamboanga City built during the Benigno Aquino III administration collapsed during a visit of lawmakers and city officials.
The Tiktok video also wrongly stated that the housing project the officials were visiting on the day of the mishap was for victims of the 2017 Marawi siege. It was for victims of the 21-day siege in Zamboanga City in 2013.
SunStar Zamboanga, ABS-CBN, GMA News and Inquirer.net were among the media outlets that reported that Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, National Housing Authority and other government officials, their staff and local journalists were among those who fell into the murky waters when a portion of the bridge leading to the housing project collapsed on April 26, 2018.
Both ABS-CBN and GMA posted footage of the lawmakers falling into the water.
Benitez was chair of the House committee on housing and urban development and Lobregat, the House committee on public works and highways at the time.
Rappler in July fact-checked the video when it was uploaded to Facebook.
But Quinn Nylah (@cyrilnapiers) recently uploaded the video on Tiktok, saying, “Hindi pinalabas sa balita dahil mapapahiya sila (They didn’t let the media report the incident because it would embarrass them),” adding that the Aquino government had spent P12 million on the bridge.
Days after the incident, the NHA clarified that P12 million was spent for the 2,000-meter footbridge, not just the damaged portion. In 2019, the NHA allocated P20 million to build a concrete footbridge.
The Tiktok video showed houses on stilts which Quinn Nylah said were built “para sa mga biktima ng giyera sa Marawi (for the victims of the war in Marawi).”
The houses were among those built by the government under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) in areas affected by the fighting that erupted on Sept. 9, 2013. in Zamboanga City between government troops and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front.
The five-month fighting between government forces and IS-linked militants in Marawi began on May 23, 2017.
Marawi in Lanao del Sur is 275 kilometers from Zamboanga City. Travel over land will take 427 kilometers.
The Tiktok video has elicited more than 267,400 likes, 14,500 comments and 15,200. It has been reshared on Facebook such as through the Solid Rodrigo Duterte Fighters.
ABS-CBN News. (2018, April 26). TV Patrol: Ilang opisyal, nahulog sa tulay sa Zamboanga [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/mgzO37t4nr0
Colcol, E. (2018, April 26). Solons, Zambo City mayor hurt as footbridge gives way at housing project. GMA News. https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/regions/651361/lawmakers-zamboanga-city-mayor-hurt-as-footbridge-gives-way/story/
FALSE: Media did not report on collapsed footbridge in Zamboanga City. (2021, July 2). Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/mainstream-media-did-not-report-collapsed-footbridge-zamboanga-city
Garcia, B. (2018, April 26). 2 lawmakers, mayor fall as bridge collapses. SunStar Zamboanga. https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1654746/Zamboanga/Local-News/2-lawmakers-mayor-fall-as-bridge-collapses
Pelayo, M. (2018, May 9). NHA clarifies ‘misquoted’ cost of wooden footbridge in Zamboanga project. UNTV. https://www.untvweb.com/news/nha-clarifies-misquoted-cost-of-wooden-footbridge-in-zamboanga-project/
Roxas, P. (2018, April 26). 2 reps, Zambo City mayor, fall off collapsed footbridge. Inquirer.net.https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/985580/2-reps-zambo-city-mayor-fall-off-collapsed-footbridge
Santiago, S. (2019, November 16). NHA allocates P20-M for Zambo footbridge project. PNA. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1086251
Solid Rodrigo Duterte Fighters. (2021, October 27). Kakahiya ang proyekto na ito. DILAWAN PA MORE! [Video Attached]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/soliddutertefighters/posts/1773723652837262
Ulat: Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction. (2014, September 9). Official Gazette. https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2014/09/09/ulat-zamboanga-city-roadmap-to-recovery-and-reconstruction/