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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 28, 2021

Photos show Manila Bay during Duterte’s administration

If Your Time is short

  • Both photos were taken during Duterte’s administration.

A recent Facebook post seeks to credit Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, with cleaning up a mess. 

"Manila Bay before and currently with Pres. Duterete’s administration," the post sharing two images says. "Look at the difference." 

Featured Fact-check

The first image shows a beach packed with debris. The second shows people walking on the clean sand. 

But both photos were taken during Duterte’s time as president. 

(Screengrab from Facebook)
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The first photo was posted on the Philippine News Agency’s website on July 16, 2018, two years after Duterte was sworn in as president
The caption says: "Manila Bay trash. Tons of garbage washes ashore Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard due to the southwest monsoon or habagat on Sunday (July 15, 2018). Garbage is still a major problem in the Manila Bay even as government personnel haul truckloads of trash during cleanup." 
The second photo, published in October 2020 on the website of ABS-CBN News, another news organization in the Philippines, shows the results of the government’s efforts to clean up Manila Bay by dumping dolomite sand along the shoreline. Environmental groups criticized the beautification project, saying it could actually harm the bay by introducing more heavy metals in its waters.   
Without that context, people could look at this Facebook post and reasonably think that the first photo predates Duterte’s administration. It doesn’t. We rate it Half True.

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Photos show Manila Bay during Duterte’s administration

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