FACT CHECK: No, these are not genuine photos of ex-US president Obama showing support for Duterte

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 10 2019 07:56 PM

A composite image has been shared thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts alongside a claim that it shows former US President Barack Obama supporting Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte. 

The claim is false; the two photos in the composite image have been doctored from photos of Obama in which he did not show visible support for Duterte.

The composite image was shared in a Facebook post on May 2, 2019.

Below is a screenshot of the post:

Screenshot of Facebook post

In the composite image, the top photo appears to show a screenshot of a television report about Obama endorsing Duterte for president.

In the composite image, the bottom photo appears to show the former US leader holding a pro-Duterte shirt while standing with his wife Michelle Obama.

The caption in the misleading Facebook post says: “US pres. Barak Obama very much obsessed with precedent (sic) Rody Duterte. He advises to the Filipinos to vote for Hugpong Ng Pagbabago and PDP-Laban candidates”.

Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States on November 4, 2008. He held the position until January 2017. Here is his official biography on the White House website.

Rodrigo Duterte is the current president of the Philippines. This is his official Facebook page.

“Hugpong ng Pagbabago” refers to a regional political party headed by Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte. Here is its official Facebook page. 

“PDP-Laban” refers to Rodrigo Duterte’s political party. Here is its official Facebook page.

The same composite image was shared more than 3,000 times after being posted on Facebook here on April 27, 2016 with an identical claim.

The claim is false; the two photos in the composite image have been doctored from photos of Obama in which he did not show visible support for Duterte.

A reverse search using Tineye found part of the top photo in the composite image on Flickr

Below is a screenshot of the original photo:

Screenshot of image

The caption states: “Johnson give gloves to Obama”. The post also says the picture was taken on September 7, 2011.

The event, which saw NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson presenting Obama with driving gloves, was covered in this report by the San Diego Union-Tribune on September 7, 2011. 

Another further reverse image search on Tineye for the top image in the composite article found this article published on October 6, 2015, by the Huffington Post. 

Below is a screenshot of the report:

Screenshot of report

The report states that Photofunia enables users to create customizable images, including images which replicate television news report. This is Photofunia’s official website. 

Another reverse image search on Tineye for the bottom photo in the composite image found this tweet posted on Obama’s Twitter account on June 27, 2015.

The caption states: “So inspired by the grace shown by the Simmons family and all the victims' families in Charleston. #HateWontWin.”

The tweet references a mass shooting in the southern US city of Charleston on June 17, 2015. Here is an AFP report about the shooting. 

AFP published this fact check report on January 24, 2019 about part of the same doctored image.