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Claims of an Amanpulo victory party by Marcos Jr. camp called out as fake

By NICK GARCIA Published May 16, 2022 6:56 pm Updated May 16, 2022 8:13 pm

Reports that the camp of presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. held a victory party at Amanpulo appear to be unfounded and false, similar to initial false claims of a victory party at Solaire.

Amanpulo, a private luxury island resort in Palawan, has made a splash online as circulating social media posts claim that Marcos Jr's party booked the entire island following his commanding 31.1-million vote lead in the May 9 polls.

The unverified claims started to generate online buzz on Facebook with a post that read: "BBM has booked the whole island of Amanpulo for his victory party. The days of Imeldific yore and opulence is back ..."

A text image that also went the rounds on Twitter read, "From my inbox: BBM has booked the whole island of Amanpulo for his victory party. The days of Imeldific yore and opulence is back.."

Though deleted, these posts with unfounded claims continue to spread online, with many netizens sharing photos and screenshots of them.

"Amanpulo" even became part of Twitter's trending topics, with over 14,000 tweets about it to date.

No such party

In an interview over the program Sa Totoo Lang of One PH, Marcos Jr.’s spokesman Vic Rodriguez said the Amanpulo victory party is not true.

“Wala, walang ganoong victory celebration,” Rodriguez said. “You know, si president-elect Bongbong is an Ilocano. Not unless meron siyang sorpresa para sa amin. Pero wala, malayo iyon. Ito'y gawa-gawa lang noong mga iresponsableng nagpo-post sa kanilang social media na iyan na naman, malisyoso ang pagpo-post.”

Rodriguez also urged people to be responsible for what they post on social media.

“Ang akin lang laging sinasabi, let's be responsible for what we post. Let's be responsible for what we do. Di tayo iyong magpo-post para lang makapanakit ka ng sinuman. Kakatapos lang ng kampanya, kakatapos lang ng eleksiyon,” said Rodriguez.

“Kung meron kayong pinanghahawakan na, for example, proof of payment, or bookings, sino nagpa-book o larawan, by all means, i-post ninyo. You will get a reply from me. Kung ito'y alegasyon lang ng kung sino, siguro, ang tamang taong tanungin ninyo ay iyong taong nag-post niyan.”

Amanpulo 'misinformation and disinformation'

Katrina Razon, daughter of business tycoon Enrique Razon, denounced the spreading of the "misinformation and disinformation" about Amanpulo.

"Claims of a buyout and victory party at Amanpulo are false. Verified and confirmed," Razon said. "We need to stop misinformation and disinformation from spreading regardless of which political candidate you support."

One Twitter user replied to Razon's tweet saying that "there are reports that supporters from BBM's campaign are in Amanpulo," to which Razon replied, "This is true. But he is physically not there."

When asked to provide information that the claim is false, Razon said "Top management at Amanpulo confirmed."

PhilSTAR L!fe has been trying to get an answer from the Amanpulo Resort management but has not received any answer yet.

Razon in a separate tweet said she will "not stand for misinformation or disinformation from any side," as she quote tweeted an update from Philstar.com about Vice President Leni Robredo launching non-government organization Angat Buhay and a crusade against disinformation and historical revisionism.

Robredo ranked a distant second in the May 9 polls with 14.8 million votes.

'Self-police' in 'fake Amanpulo news'

President Noynoy Aquino's former speechwriter Gian Lao also asked fellow supporters of Robredo to "self-police," in light of the spread of the "fake Amanpulo news," as well as some "unhinged takes" about the elections.

"The Marcoses win if we act like them. Sure, a movement of millions will always have assholes and homers, but we can at least self-police," Lao said. "It's encouraging that so many allies are calmly calling out the fake Amanpulo news, as well as some unhinged takes against COMELEC and PPCRV."

There has been a brouhaha about the "68:32" pattern during the transmission of election results, which supposedly suggests irregularities and anomalies between the votes Marcos Jr. and Robredo received.

The claim has already been debunked by the Commission on Elections, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, as well as the University of the Philippines's OCTA Research and UP School of Statistics.

"It's the same with governance. There will never be a perfect government, but there can be one that is self-aware, that self-corrects, that is earnest in its work," Lao said. "If we want governance like that, we need a movement that is also like that."

No Marcos Jr. party in Solaire

There are also circulating posts saying that prior to the supposed Amanpulo getaway, Marcos Jr.'s camp supposedly held a victory party with businessmen and socialites at Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque on the night of May 9.

Rappler, however, reported that the photo was taken in their camp's headquarters along EDSA in Mandaluyong.

Manuel "Manolo" Quezon III, columnist at Inquirer and grandson of President Manuel Quezon, also corrected himself after saying in an earlier tweet that the party was held at Solaire.

In correcting himself, Quezon shared a tweet from a concerned netizen highlighting the similarities of the party photo and photos from inside the Marcos Jr. camp HQ in Mandaluyong, as uploaded by former Laguna governor E.R. Ejercito on Oct. 6, 2021, during the week of filing certificates of candidacy.

A Social Weather Stations survey conducted from Dec. 12 to 16, 2021, and published Feb. 25 found that 51% of 1,440 respondents find it difficult to spot "fake news" on television, radio, or social media. Some 67% of them, meanwhile, lamented that the problem of fake news on the internet is serious.