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FACT CHECK: Ambulances funded by SouthCot gov’t, not from governor’s own pockets

A Facebook post by the Provincial Government of South Cotabato on the turnover of ambulances to three local government units (LGUs) is misleading. The post made it appear that the ambulances were purchased from the personal pockets of Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr.

south cot ambulance

“Great news for our communities in Tupi, Norala, and Sto. Niño! Today marks a significant step towards enhanced emergency response as we witness the official turnover of a brand new ambulance (sic) generously provided by Governor Reynaldo Tamayo to our local government units,” the caption said.

“This remarkable contribution underscores the unwavering commitment of Gov. Tamayo to prioritize the health and well-being of our constituents. This transformative contribution, amounting to a total of 7.5 million pesos, is a testament to Gov. Tamayo’s dedication to the well-being of our people,” it added.

The Facebook post was accompanied with photos of Tamayo turning over a ceremonial key to officials of the recipient LGUs. It was titled “Official Turnover of Ambulance from Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo to LGUs Tupi, Norala, and Sto. Niño.” The turnover activity happened last 31 August in Koronadal City, the provincial capital.

However, a news item posted at official website of the province, www.southcotabato.gov.ph, reported that the ambulances were bought using public money, and not from Tamayo’s personal money.

The article was titled “PDRRMO turns over new ambulance (sic) to LGUs of Tupi, Norala, Sto.Niño.”

PDRRMO stands for Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, which is headed by officer-in-charge Rolly Doane Aquino.

“True to its commitment of ensuring swift response and effective rescue operations during times of disasters and emergencies, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato, under the leadership of Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo, Jr., has officially turned over three units of new ambulances valued at P7.5 million to the LGUs of Tupi, Norala, and Sto. Niño,” the report said.

It noted the three ambulances were purchased from an allocation by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Council, contrary to what was posted at the Facebook page of the provincial government.

Besides Tamayo and Aquino, Emil Sumagaysay (Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (MDRRMO) for Tupi), Aiza Gabion-Lim (MDRRMO Norala), and Engr. Alejo Dennis Fale (MDRRMO Sto. Niño) also attended the turnover ceremony.

The misleading Facebook post has garnered 323 reactions, 26 shares, and four positive comments.

The Provincial Government of South Cotabato page, a verified Facebook account, is followed by at least 183,000 users.

As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories. 

MindaNews is a verified signatory to the Code of Principles of the International Fact-Checking Network. (Miah Christine Bontillo / MindaNews)

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism. It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media.

23C Saturn St. GSIS Subdivision, Davao City Philippines Tel. No.: 082 297 4360 editor [at] mindanews.com

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About MindaNews Fact Check

MindaNews Fact Check seeks to fight misinformation and disinformation circulating on the internet, news platforms and communities that we serve. 


What is MindaNews Fact Check?


MindaNews Fact Check tracks and debunks fake news, false claims and misleading statements of government officials, civil society leaders and netizens being spread on the internet, especially on social media sites. MindaNews values truth and accuracy in performing our journalistic work.


Why we fact-check?


Politicians, government officials and other public and private figures at times tend to bend facts to suit or advance their vested interests, or their principals, in effect misleading the public. The distorted facts spread easily with the popularity of the internet and the wide influence of social media.


As independent journalists, our primordial duty is to tell the truth and present facts to help the public discern issues and concerns impacting their lives.


How do we rate claims?


FAKE -  if the claim is completely invented.


FALSE - if the claim contradicts, undermines or disputes truthful facts, actual events and official records (i.e. laws and scientific studies)


MISLEADING – if the claim is based on truth but maliciously twisted that gives a different impression to serve a group or individual’s vested interests.


ALTERED – pertains to images or videos that were manipulated to mislead the public.


MISSING CONTEXT – if the claim needs more clarification or contextualization to make it clearer.

Where do you post your results?


We post our fact-checked stories in mindanews.com, on Facebook and Twitter with links to the original piece. We have a dedicated fact check page, where all fact-checked stories can be found. 


How did MindaNews Fact Check start?


Since its establishment in 2001, MindaNews has been living up to its vision of being the “leading provider of accurate, timely and comprehensive news and information on Mindanao and its peoples, serving economically, politically and culturally empowered communities” and its mission to “professionally and responsibly cover Mindanao events, peoples and issues to inform, educate, inspire and influence communities.”


MindaNews was founded by reporters precisely to ensure that reports about Mindanao, an island grouping that has suffered misinformation and disinformation long before these words became fashionable, are accurate. 


Our policy has always been to ensure that reports are thoroughly vetted before they are dispatched and uploaded on our website. 


Our fact-checking initiative with a uniform format started in October 2021 as part of Internews’ pioneering Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator (PFCI) project. Internews is an international non-profit that supports independent media from 100 countries. 


Prior to the PFCI project, MindaNews co-founded Tsek.ph, a collaboration among Philippine media institutions to fight disinformation and misinformation during the 2019. Tsek.ph did the same thing for the 2022 elections. 


Where do you get funds?


MindaNews has sustained its operation through proceeds from subscriptions of its news service  (news, special reports, opinion pieces, photos) and sales of books. It also receives grants from non-state actors.  Editorial prerogative, however, is left entirely to MindaNews. 


MindaNews does not accept funds from politicians or domestic or foreign states for its fact-checking initiative. For the other operations of MindaNews as a media organization in the past two years, we have received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which we use for coverage, staff compensation, administrative expenses and to train other journalists.


MindaNews Fact Check is supported by a grant from Internews.


Do you accept leads from the public for your fact-checking initiative?


MindaNews encourages the public to provide us with leads not only for potential fact-check pieces but other news stories as well of interest to the general public.



Our fact checks include this paragraph encouraging readers to be part of the process: “As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact check pieces.”


MindaNews Fact Check - Methodology

What standards do you follow when fact-checking?


As a news organization, we strictly adhere to accuracy, fairness, balance, independence, accountability and transparency not just in our fact-checking initiative but in all other aspects of our work at MindaNews.


We abide by the Philippine Press Institute’s Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Since we became part of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator project, we have been striving to adhere with the IFCN Code of Principles, in step with our organization’s commitment to non-partisanship, transparency and fairness.


We fact-check a claim that is specifically claimed to be a fact and involved the public interest or the welfare of the people. We debunk false claims using official government records, journals or interviews with experts. 


We don’t fact-check opinions.

How do we fact-check?

Step 1: Team members monitor press conferences, speeches, statements, news, interviews, social media sites, etc. for statements worth fact-checking.


Step 2: When a claim is worth fact-checking, a team member looks for multiple sources to dispute the claim, including tracing the original source document.


Step 3:  Fact-checked claims are then submitted to the editor for copy editing and vetting. The link/s to debunk the claim are always included in the story.  


Step 4: A rating card is prepared to accompany the fact-checked piece, or infographics if needed, to immediately flag readers what the article is all about. 


Step 5: The senior editor takes another look before the article is posted on the website and social media accounts.

Correction Policy

Consistent with our vision and mission as a media institution, we rectify any error committed. If you spot a factual error, you may notify us thru editor@mindanews.com or our Facebook Messenger @Mindanews.


Correction Workflow


  • Errors pointed out are immediately brought to the attention of the editors and the fact-checking team. 


  • The fact-checker is immediately notified for verification. 


  • Once verified, the error is to be corrected within 24 hours and vetted before publication on the website. 


  • Readers will immediately know errors have been corrected through the Editor’s note posted above the article. 


  • The person who notified MindaNews about the error will be informed that the correction has been made.

About MindaNews

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism (MinJourn). It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media. MinJourn, which is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with registration number CN201700385, is managed by its Board of Directors.

MindaNews values its journalistic independence. It started in May 2001 as a media cooperative and in January 2017 registered as a nonstock, nonprofit media organization.  We do not  accept funding from politicians, political parties or partisan groups.

Editorial staff

Fact-checking Unit: Romer (Bong) Sarmiento, Yas D. Ocampo

 

Mindanao Institute of Journalism

 

Board of Directors

President & CEO: Jowel Canuday, D.Phil. (oxon.)
Vice President: Romer S. Sarmiento

Members
Carolyn O. Arguillas, M.A.
Rhodora Gail T. Ilagan, Ph.D.
Amalia B. Cabusao (Doc Can.)
Robert D. Timonera
Ellen P. Alinea