Philippine boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao ( AFP / TED ALJIBE)

Edited video misleadingly suggests Duterte 'exposed' senator Pacquiao's tax debt

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A video has been viewed more than four million times in multiple Facebook and YouTube posts that claim it shows President Rodrigo Duterte exposing senator Manny Pacquiao's huge tax debt during a face-to-face meeting. The claim is misleading: Pacquiao's tax case had been widely reported since 2013. The video does not show Pacquiao was physically present during a recent meeting.

The seven-minute 26-second video was posted here on Facebook on July 8, 2021. It has been viewed more than four million times.

It shows a split-screen: President Rodrigo Duterte can be seen on the left and Filipino boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao is pictured on the right.

The post's Tagalog-language caption translates to English as: "SHOCKING NEWS: FINALLY! PRES. DUTERTE IN HIS IRE EXPOSED FACE-TO-FACE PACQUIAO'S BILLIONS WORTH OF DEBT, THE END!"

A screenshot of the misleading YouTube video

The post circulated online following reports that Pacquiao claimed corruption had tripled under the Duterte administration. 

Comments on the post indicate some viewers were misled by it.

"So the truth came out, Pacquiao, that you’re the one who is corrupt!" one wrote.

Another commented: "As it turns out, you, Pacquiao, are the one who is corrupt because you still have billions worth of tax debt. You're even accusing others [of corruption]."

An identical video was also shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here; on YouTube here; and in this blog post.

The claim in the posts, however, is misleading.

Multiple keyword searches found Pacquiao’s tax case has been widely reported since November 2013.

Duterte mentioned it again in a meeting on July 7, 2021. The discussion was originally broadcast live on Facebook here.

In the footage, Duterte mentioned the old tax case but did not expose a new one.

He also admitted in the same video that he was unsure about the status of Pacquiao's tax case.

"I remember he has a case, I think it’s still with the courts but I’ll check it," he says at the one-hour ten-minute and 15-second mark.

In reality, the Philippine tax court ordered local tax authorities in 2018 to stop collecting Pacquiao's supposed tax deficiencies of about 3.3 billion pesos, Philippine media outlet Rappler reported.

A reverse image search on Google found this image of Pacquiao was inserted into the misleading video. It has circulated online since at least March 2020.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the edited video (L) and the original footage (R):

 

 

Pacquiao is mulling whether to run for the presidency in 2022, AFP reported here.

Duterte -- who is allowed to serve only one term as president --  has flagged a possible run for the vice presidency.