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FACT CHECK | Claim that media did not fully report on sugar importation mess is false

News5 Digital

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FACT CHECK | Claim that media did not fully report on sugar importation mess is false
A pro-administration vlogger claimed in a recent video posted on an online video platform that the legacy media failed to fully report about the sugar importation mess that stirred confusion among the public.

(August 15, 2022) – A pro-administration vlogger claimed in a recent video posted on an online video platform that the legacy media failed to fully report about the sugar importation mess that stirred confusion among the public.

This claim is false.

CLAIM:

On Saturday, a YouTube channel named “ASK TEACHER POPONG” posted a 10-minute vlog that discussed the sugar importation mess which stemmed from an order released by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

It carried the title: “Bakit Hindi ito Binalita Ng Media ? Lagot Sila Kay BBM !”

The narrator of the video questioned why the legacy media reported a statement from the SRA which warned that the country’s sugar supply might run out by the end of August. He juxtaposed this with the statement of local producers that disputed the claim.

The vlogger also criticized the legacy media’s angle which allegedly put President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in a bad light.

“Dahil nga rito sa uri ng pagbabalita na ginawa ng media noong nakaraang araw, inulan tuloy ng iba’t ibang batikos itong si President BBM sa internet,” the vlogger said, referring to the initials of Marcos.

“Well, kumbaga, naging successful ‘yung ibang media na gamitin nila itong issue sa asukal noong nakaraang araw upang magalit ang ilang mga Pilipino rito kay President BBM.”

RATING: False

FACTS:

The title of the video by “ASK TEACHER POPONG” was false because various media outlets have been reporting on the issue.

On August 10, journalists said news reporters were able to access Sugar Order No. 4 from the website of the SRA but the document was later taken down after the Malacañang said the order was illegal.

The controversial order, which was signed by a now-resigned undersecretary, supposedly approved the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Reporters had also taken note of the denial issued by the Malacañang about the importation. Several news media outlets published reports on the statement of press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles who said that Marcos, as chairperson of the SRA board, did not sign the order.

Some of the news reports can be accessed herehere, and here. News5 and OneNews also produced news reports that aired the statements of the involved parties regarding the confusing sugar importation order.

Journalists have also been monitoring the issue of sugar even before the importation mess broke out. Prior to this, consumers have already raised concerns over the increasing cost of sugar in the local market.

In July, the SRA published a statement claiming that the sugar supply in the country might be depleted by August if importation would not be allowed. Industry players, on the other hand, stressed that the supply is enough. According to them, the high prices can be blamed on “manipulation and hoarding”, as reported by BusinessWorld.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

It was not the first time that fact-checkers flagged the claims made by “ASK TEACHER POPONG” on his YouTube channel.

News5 previously fact-checked a false claim about the country’s ranking in the Press Freedom Index. Before this, Altermidya also flagged the channel’s claim that “Japan will surely be amazed with Marcos Jr.’s energy security plan”. Both News5 and Altermidya are members of Facts First PH.

So far, the video on the sugar importation fiasco has earned 8,900 reactions, 792 comments, and over 230,000 views. “ASK TEACHER POPONG” has more than 1.52 million subscribers to date.News5 is part of #FactsFirstPH which brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space, and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies. For those interested to join the initiative, e-mail info@factsfirst.ph. Message News5’s Facebook page if you want to have any claims fact-checked. Read our fact-checking policy here.

This piece is republished with permission from News5 Digital.

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