FACT CHECK: No rice priced at P20-level per kilo in Davao City

Old photos of rice priced at the P20-level per kilo in Davao City have resurfaced on Facebook to boost the campaign promise of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

With three weeks before the May 9 elections, the former senator from Ilocos Norte, should he win, had vowed to subsidize the price of rice and bring it down to P20 to P30 per kilo in his first year in office. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1584241/bongbong-marcos-vows-to-bring-down-price-of-rice

The variation of the misleading posts, which were posted in different Facebook pages, claimed that the price of local regular-milled rice in outskirt Calinan District went down to as low as P24 per kilo.

One of the false claims read: “Presyo ng Bigas (price of rice) (in)front of GMALL CALINAN DAVAO CITY đź‘Ť near overpass Thanks DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ❤️ Samasama tayong babangon muli.

“Sama-sama tayong babangon muli” (We shall all rise together) is the campaign slogan of Marcos, Jr., who was proclaimed winner of the May 9 presidential race on Wednesday, 25 May.

A reverse search of the photos and the keywords used in the false claim yielded a post uploaded two years ago by Facebook user Malyn Ko.

Her post, uploaded on December 12, 2019, reached at least 49,000 shares and almost 3,500 reactions.

MindaNews checked rice stores in front of GMall Calinan on Wednesday, 25 May. The prices of rice range from P33 to P38 per kilo. 

Prices of rice at the Calinan Public Market on Wednesday, 25 May 2022. MindaNews photo by YAS D. OCAMPO

Crischiela Gabo, 24, a vendor at the ASG Store in Calinan Public Market, said the false photos that circulated recently were taken by a customer at their store in 2019, during harvest season when prices were expectedly low.

Following the circulation of the fake posts, rice stores in Calinan were bombarded with at least 15 inquiries per day about the false cheap price of rice.

As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)

(This fact-check piece was produced with the support of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)

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About MindaNews Fact Check

MindaNews Fact Check seeks to fight misinformation and disinformation circulating on the internet, news platforms and communities that we serve. 


What is MindaNews Fact Check?


MindaNews Fact Check tracks and debunks fake news, false claims and misleading statements of government officials, civil society leaders and netizens being spread on the internet, especially on social media sites. MindaNews values truth and accuracy in performing our journalistic work.


Why we fact-check?


Politicians, government officials and other public and private figures at times tend to bend facts to suit or advance their vested interests, or their principals, in effect misleading the public. The distorted facts spread easily with the popularity of the internet and the wide influence of social media.


As independent journalists, our primordial duty is to tell the truth and present facts to help the public discern issues and concerns impacting their lives.


How do we rate claims?


FAKE -  if the claim is completely invented.


FALSE - if the claim contradicts, undermines or disputes truthful facts, actual events and official records (i.e. laws and scientific studies)


MISLEADING – if the claim is based on truth but maliciously twisted that gives a different impression to serve a group or individual’s vested interests.


ALTERED – pertains to images or videos that were manipulated to mislead the public.


MISSING CONTEXT – if the claim needs more clarification or contextualization to make it clearer.

Where do you post your results?


We post our fact-checked stories in www.mindanews.com, on Facebook and Twitter with links to the original piece. We have a dedicated fact check page, where all fact-checked stories can be found. 


How did MindaNews Fact Check start?


Since its establishment in 2001, MindaNews has been living up to its vision of being the “leading provider of accurate, timely and comprehensive news and information on Mindanao and its peoples, serving economically, politically and culturally empowered communities” and its mission to “professionally and responsibly cover Mindanao events, peoples and issues to inform, educate, inspire and influence communities.”


MindaNews was founded by reporters precisely to ensure that reports about Mindanao, an island grouping that has suffered misinformation and disinformation long before these words became fashionable, are accurate. 


Our policy has always been to ensure that reports are thoroughly vetted before they are dispatched and uploaded on our website. 


Our fact-checking initiative with a uniform format started in October 2021 as part of Internews’ pioneering Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator (PFCI) project. Internews is an international non-profit that supports independent media from 100 countries. 


Prior to the PFCI project, MindaNews co-founded Tsek.ph, a collaboration among Philippine media institutions to fight disinformation and misinformation during the 2019. Tsek.ph did the same thing for the 2022 elections. 


Where do you get funds?


MindaNews has sustained its operation through proceeds from subscriptions of its news service  (news, special reports, opinion pieces, photos) and sales of books. It also receives grants from non-state actors.  Editorial prerogative, however, is left entirely to MindaNews. 


MindaNews does not accept funds from politicians or domestic or foreign states for its fact-checking initiative. For the other operations of MindaNews as a media organization in the past two years, we have received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which we use for coverage, staff compensation, administrative expenses and to train other journalists.


MindaNews Fact Check is supported by a grant from Internews.


Do you accept leads from the public for your fact-checking initiative?


MindaNews encourages the public to provide us with leads not only for potential fact-check pieces but other news stories as well of interest to the general public.



Our fact checks include this paragraph encouraging readers to be part of the process: “As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact check pieces.”


MindaNews Fact Check - Methodology

What standards do you follow when fact-checking?


As a news organization, we strictly adhere to accuracy, fairness, balance, independence, accountability and transparency not just in our fact-checking initiative but in all other aspects of our work at MindaNews.


We abide by the Philippine Press Institute’s Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Since we became part of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator project, we have been striving to adhere with the IFCN Code of Principles, in step with our organization’s commitment to non-partisanship, transparency and fairness.


We fact-check a claim that is specifically claimed to be a fact and involved the public interest or the welfare of the people. We debunk false claims using official government records, journals or interviews with experts. 


We don’t fact-check opinions.

How do we fact-check?

Step 1: Team members monitor press conferences, speeches, statements, news, interviews, social media sites, etc. for statements worth fact-checking.


Step 2: When a claim is worth fact-checking, a team member looks for multiple sources to dispute the claim, including tracing the original source document.


Step 3:  Fact-checked claims are then submitted to the editor for copy editing and vetting. The link/s to debunk the claim are always included in the story.  


Step 4: A rating card is prepared to accompany the fact-checked piece, or infographics if needed, to immediately flag readers what the article is all about. 


Step 5: The senior editor takes another look before the article is posted on the website and social media accounts.

Correction Policy

Consistent with our vision and mission as a media institution, we rectify any error committed. If you spot a factual error, you may notify us thru editor@mindanews.com or our Facebook Messenger @Mindanews.


Correction Workflow


  • Errors pointed out are immediately brought to the attention of the editors and the fact-checking team. 


  • The fact-checker is immediately notified for verification. 


  • Once verified, the error is to be corrected within 24 hours and vetted before publication on the website. 


  • Readers will immediately know errors have been corrected through the Editor’s note posted above the article. 


  • The person who notified MindaNews about the error will be informed that the correction has been made.

About MindaNews

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism (MinJourn). It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media. MinJourn, which is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with registration number CN201700385, is managed by its Board of Directors. 


MindaNews values its journalistic independence. It started in May 2001 as a media cooperative and in January 2017 registered as a nonstock, nonprofit media organization.  We do not  accept funding from politicians, political parties or partisan groups.


Editorial staff


Editor-in-Chief: Carolyn O. Arguillas
Editors: Robert D. Timonera, Bong S. Sarmiento, H. Marcos C. Mordeno
Reporters/Photojournalists: Froilan Gallardo, Antonio L. Colina IV, Ferdinandh B. Cabrera, Roel Catoto, Manman Dejeto, Allen Estabillo, Frencie Carreon, Richel V. Umel, Chris Panganiban
Social Media Manager: Yas D. Ocampo

Fact-checking Unit: Romer (Bong) Sarmiento, Yas D. Ocampo



Mindanao Institute of Journalism Board of Directors

President: Rhodora Gail T. Ilagan, PhD
Vice President: Romer (Bong) Sarmiento

Members:
Carolyn O. Arguillas
Jose Jowel Canuday, PhD
Robert D. Timonera

Chief Executive Officer: Jose Jowel Canuday, PhD
Board Secretary: Ellen Alinea
Board Treasurer: Amalia B. Cabusao