A YouTube channel has falsely reported that President Rodrigo Duterte survived this month an ambush supposedly mounted by the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
The thumbnail of YouTube channel Philippines Trending News for its Dec. 17 “breaking news” video reads:
Pres Duterte na am-bush
Ang convoy | CPP NPA | Duterte galit na | Esperon | Sotto
(President Duterte was ambushed: The convoy | CPP NPA | Duterte is angry Esperon | Sotto)
The video is titled:
BREAKING NEWS DEC 17, 2020 PRES DUTERTE BUTI nalang NAKA-LIGTAS/ESPERON/SOTTO
(Breaking News Dec 17, 2020 Good that Pres Duterte survived/Esperon/Sotto)
The video’s narration omitted mention of a date, further reinforcing the impression that the ambush recently took place. It reported:
Mga kababayan, isang makabuluhang video naman ang mapapanood natin ngayon kung saan ay galit na galit ‘di umano ang Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte dahil inambush ‘di umano ang kanyang convoy… Disclaimer lang po, ang videong mapapanood natin ngayon ay isang replay lamang kung saan talagang galit na galit ‘di umano ang Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte dahil sa ‘di maintindihang pabor ng mga rebeldeng NPA… ayon umano sa sabi ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, ay galit na galit daw siya dahil nagrequest ang mga rebeldeng NPA na makipag-usap sa kanya ng personal, pero nung siya ay papunta sa lugar kung saan sila ay maguusap, ay pinaambush di umano ng mga rebeldeng NPA ang convoy ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte
(Fellow Filipinos, we are now going to watch an important video in which President Rodrigo Duterte is enraged because his convoy was ambushed. Disclaimer, the video we are going to watch is only a replay where President Rodrigo Duterte is furious because of the incomprehensible motives of the NPA rebels… according to President Duterte, he was furious because the NPA rebels requested to speak to him personally, but on the way to their meeting place, the NPA rebels ambushed President Rodrigo Duterte’s convoy)
The video then cut to a video clip of Duterte saying:
I was trying to find a brigade where I could take off. Pati ‘yung convoy ko, in-ambush nila. Wala naman silang makuha kasi puro armored ‘yun eh. They had the gall to lie. Mina-chine gun nila ng M-16, ‘di nila matalab-talaban. So if they want [a war], just wait until after Marawi, we can better deal with you
(I was trying to find a brigade where I could take off. They even ambushed my convoy. They (The rebels) couldn’t get anything anyway because they were all armored. They had the gall to lie. They fired an M-16 machine gun, but it didn’t work. So if they want [a war], just wait until after Marawi, we can better deal with you)…
No such ambush happened this December. Instead, what the video was referring to was the encounter between presidential guards in a two-vehicle convoy and armed rebels in North Cotabato on July 19, 2017 that left one dead, one abducted, and five wounded. Duterte was not at the scene.
The original video of Duterte’s statement dates back to July 24, 2017. It was taken at the press conference the president held following his second State of the Nation Address during which he condemned the attack on his security convoy.
The video can be found on CNN Philippines’ Facebook page. Philippines Trending News, however, flipped the video horizontally and juxtaposed it with two photos: a screenshot from a video of Duterte announcing on Aug. 24, 2016 in Davao City a ceasefire with the CPP and a photo from a Philstar.com article on the 2017 ambush.
The YouTube channel ran the story amid the worsening red-tagging and extrajudicial arrests and killings in the country. On Dec. 7, Duterte declared he would no longer entertain ceasefires with the CPP until his term ends in 2022.
Philippines Trending News was created on Dec. 10, 2014 and has 10.2 million total views and over 252,000 subscribers. Its Dec. 17 video has 30,015 views, 69 comments, and 730 likes as of posting.
CNN Philippines. (2017, July 24). Duterte: The NPA ambushed even my convoy www.cnn.ph [Video]. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1988090801430809
Duterte: No more ceasefire with Reds under my term. (2020, December 8). CNN Philippines. Retrieved from https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/12/7/duterte-no-more-ceasefire-communists.html
Lim, F., & Nawal, A.(2017, July 19). Duterte security men ambushed in North Cotabato; 6 wounded. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/915134/duterte-security-men-ambushed-in-davao-city-2-wounded
Mendez, C. (2017, July 19). NPAs ambush PSG convoy in Cotabato. Philstar.com. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/19/1727838/npas-ambush-psg-convoy-cotabato
Philippines Trending News. (2020, December 17). BREAKING NEWS DEC 17, 2020 PRES DUTERTE BUTI nalang NAKA-LIGTAS/ESPERON/SOTTO [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IM_w0N-l08
Presidential Communications Operations Office. (2017, July 24). Media interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte Following his 2nd State of the Nation Address. Retrieved from https://pcoo.gov.ph/media-interview/media-interview-president-rodrigo-roa-duterte-following-2nd-state-nation-address/
PSG convoy ambushed in Cotabato. (2017, July 19). ABS-CBN News. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/19/17/psg-convoy-ambushed-in-cotabato
RTVMalacañang. (2016, August 24). Press Statement - Davao City [Video]. YouTube Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6MvMhmwF0M
Tan, L. (2017, July 19). One dead, police agent abducted, 5 wounded as presidential security group clashes with New People's Army. CNN Philippines. Retrieved from https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/07/19/Presidential-Security-Group-convoy-ambush-Cotabato.html
Unson, John. (2017, July 20). NPA in PSG convoy ambush shot dead. PhilStar.com. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/20/1719832/npa-psg-convoy-ambush-shot-dead