Sketchy Facebook page spreads false quotes from Nueva Ecija Gov. Czarina Umali

February 19, 2019 - 6:02 PM
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Cherry Umali Interaksyon
In this photo: Nueva Ecija Governor Czarina "Cherry" Umali on July 5, 2016 (Facebook/Cherry Umali)

Nueva Ecija Governor Czarina Umali was the recent target of false reports circulated by a sketchy social media page called NE Patrol.

The post on February 11 showed a fabricated photo of News5 with a supposed quote from the governor.

It concerns the P50 million worth of tax payer’s money that Umali and her family have allegedly stolen to purchase and distribute homemade ham during the Christmas holidays.

PAHAYAG NI GOV. CZARINA "CHERRY" UMALI HINGIL SA P50M HAMON SCANDAL"Sa issue na bumili ako ng worth P50M na hamon mula…

Posted by NE Patrol on Monday, February 11, 2019

News5, however, denied having published this statement card and another one posted on February 11. The latter involved the Umali family’s questionable quarry operations in the province.

Journalism organization VERA Files also found that the photo used came from a report of the Philippine Information Agency on June 20, 2018.

It also found no official records or reports on Umali making the statements quoted on the posts.

This false information circulated after a group called “Bantay Pondo Nueva Ecija” reportedly obtained documents showing a total of P45,625,000 was used to purchase 125,000 pieces of ham as Christmas gifts for the Umali’s allies in the province.

Umali is running for Congress representing the third district of Nueva Ecija and she’s up against re-electionist Representative Rosanna Vergara.

Meanwhile, Umali’s husband and predecessor, Aurelio Umali, is seeking to return to the post at the upcoming mid-term elections.

The male Umali is currently facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman due to allegedly using the relief goods from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to boost his political ambitions in the 2016 elections.

Not the first one

On January 30, NE Patrol also posted a fabricated statement card from Umali, this time, regarding the Manila Bay cleanup.

WAIT??? 😱😱😱

Posted by NE Patrol on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The photo used was an old photo of the governor in 2014 back when she was still the third district representative of Nueva Ecija.

Furthermore, VERA Files was also able to contact Umali’s office.

“The governor vehemently denies that she has made such statement. Governor Czarina Umali knows that Manila Bay is not part of Nueva Ecija and therefore does not intend to issue a statement appertaining to the same,” representatives of her office said.

Browsing through NE Portal’s page, it appeared to have been made to post and share questionable quote or statement cards on Umali and her family.

VERA Files and interaksyon.com are members of the TSEK.ph collaborative fact-checking group.