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TikTok video reuses misleading before-and-after Duterte photos

A TikTok video has resurfaced a video compiling images of Rodrigo Duterte’s accomplishments during his presidency and falsely comparing a number of them with pictures supposedly taken during the administration of his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, to discredit the latter.

The Nov. 12 video from TikTok user @belina3171 recycles a May 2022 video from Facebook user Joel Balledo TV by using a different soundtrack. It collates already debunked claims with ones that have not been fact-checked.

The original 2022 video was posted just a day after the national elections on May 9 and has since reached 1.9 million views, 109,000 reactions and 3,800 comments as of writing.

EDSA traffic

The video passed off a picture of traffic along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) during Duterte’s term as taken during Aquino’s presidency.

A reverse image search of the “BEFORE” photo supposedly depicting traffic congestion during the “AQUINO ADMINISTRATION” reveals it was taken by Philippine Star photographer Boy Santos in May 2019 when Duterte was already president.

The caption for Santos’ photo reads:

Traffic slows to a crawl along EDSA’s southbound lane in Kamuning, Quezon City yesterday due to weekend road repairs by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

A reverse image search shows that the “AFTER” photo was indeed taken during Duterte’s presidency in 2020 by Joey Razon of the Philippine News Agency and appeared in an August 2020 PNA article with the caption:

A stretch of Edsa during the pandemic.

Baclaran Market

The video also reused a misleading 2016 post about Baclaran market in Paranaque which juxtaposed two photos taken at different locations to highlight the cleanup drive in the area under Duterte. 

A reverse image search confirms that the “Aquino Before” photo was taken during Aquino’s term, with an earlier version published in a 2014 WordPress blog, and that the “Duterte After” photo was taken in 2016 during Duterte’s term published in a Zamboanga wiki site.

Google Maps, however, confirmed that the locations of the two images are nearly 290 meters apart.

The 2018 street view and satellite view from Google Maps place the location of the “Before” photo at the Taft Avenue Extension in Parañaque near the LRT1 Baclaran Station Entrance, far from Taft Avenue as represented by the double yellow lines.

Meanwhile, the “After” photo’s 2018 street view is at 2921 Taft Avenue Ext. Its satellite view marks the location – represented by the green flag – near Taft Avenue. Google Maps estimates it is 286.97 meters away from the location of the “Before” photo.

Other misleading claims

In a misleading before-and-after comparison of the SAF 44 bridge, the text overlay reads “Dati (2015)” on the above photo and “Ngayon” on the below photo.

Although reverse image searches confirm the dates of the photos based on similar images, an important context is that the groundbreaking of the concrete bridge was held in May 2015 during Aquino’s term

As for the misleading claim about Davao City’s Coastal Road, the photo with the “before” text overlay was actually taken in January 2018 during Duterte’s term, according to a SunStar Davao Facebook post that quoted Dean Ortiz, spokesperson of the Department of Public Works and Highways Region XI office.

The video implies that the “before” photo was taken during Aquino’s term by placing the claim alongside other comparisons between the two presidents.

Lastly, the actual cost of Aquino’s Luneta flagpole project was P7.8 million, not P10 million as claimed by the video in a collage.

Previously fact-checked claims

The TikTok video also features before-and-after claims that have been debunked. They include:

The misleading TikTok video surfaced after Duterte, over an SMNI program in October, criticized the House as “the most rotten institution” in the country, alleging that Speaker Martin Romualdez had sabotaged his daughter Sara’s request for confidential funds in the 2024 budget for her two offices: the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education.

TikTok user @belina3171’s post has amassed 184,400 views, 8,160 likes, 784 comments and 723 shares as of writing. The user’s account has garnered 108,800 likes and 4,775 followers.

Another post of the same video but with a different soundtrack was published a day earlier by user @jakson_2023_21_11, garnering 1.5 million views, 37,000 likes and 1,082 shares as of writing. (KF)


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