A widely shared Facebook post contains a photo it claims shows a Philippine police officer responsible for the controversial drug war killing of a teenage boy standing next to the country’s vice president. The claim is false and the man shown in the post is not a police officer.
The November 28, 2018 Facebook post shares a photo it claims shows one of the three policemen involved in the 2017 shooting death of Kian delos Santos in Manila, which led to protests against President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.
Police claimed Santos fired at them while resisting arrest but CCTV footage showed the unarmed 17-year-old being dragged off by two officers moments before he was shot dead.
Here is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:
The text on the photo, when translated to English, says: “Proof! This is the man who shot Kian! Look! He's a police scalawag of the Yellows! with FAKE VP."
“Yellows” refers to the opposition Liberal Party and “Fake VP” is a reference to the Philippines’ Vice President Leni Robredo, the woman on the left of the picture.
Under Philippine law the president and vice president are elected separately. Robredo is from the opposition Liberal Party (LP) and is one of Duterte’s staunchest critics.
The post adds: “LP is the one behind EJKS (illegal drug war killings) in the country, evidence shows!”
The claims in the misleading Facebook post first appeared online in August 2017, soon after the Santos killing sparked protests.
Here is a screenshot of one August 21, 2017 Facebook post:
The post, which has the same photo of a man with Robredo, says: “This is said to be the police who shot Kian delos Santos”.
The caption adds: “this is the police who shot your son, he is with fake VP Leni.. you be the judge…”
The photograph used in the misleading Facebook post was taken in Angono town, near Manila, local authorities said in a statement.
Angono town, near Manila, local authorities said in a statement.
The misleading post is “fake news”, they said, adding that the image was taken at their offices when Robredo visited during her 2016 campaign.
The man in the photo is actually local resident Alberto Florentino III, local authorities in Angono said in a separate statement.
He is not a policeman, the Philippine National Police told AFP.
“No, we don't have an Alberto Florentino III,” police spokesman Benigno Durana Jr. said.
The three police officers convicted in November 2018 for Delos Santos’ killing were: Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz.
Florentino has filed a cybercrime complaint over the misleading post which claims he was involved in the Delos Santos killing.
In a report from local broadcaster ABS-CBN he speaks about his experience since the post first surfaced:
He says: "I haven't slept yet. I've been thinking about my family, they could be hurt. Some may believe I was the one who did the killing. It's scary.”
The misleading Facebook post has been shared more than 1,700 times since it was posted November 28, 2018.