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RESCUE MISSION TO LIBYA

Oops! PTV uses Chinese frigate photo for PH Navy story

Photo from Philippine Defense Forces Forum

Updated @ 1:44 a.m., Aug. 8, 2018

State-run People’s Television (PTV) has drawn flak for using an altered photo of a Chinese Navy frigate for a story on President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement last week that he planned to send a Philippine Navy ship to Libya to help rescue Filipino hostages abducted by terrorists.

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The President has since changed his mind about sending the ship and formed instead a task force to work with the Libyan government for the safe release of the hostages, according to his spokesperson, Harry Roque.

The use of the altered ship photo in a PTV report and Facebook post on Sunday was caught by local defense pages run by military enthusiasts on social media – Maxdefense Philippines and the Philippine Defense Forces Forum.

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Posted by MaxDefense Philippines on Sunday, August 5, 2018

Comparing the original and altered images, Maxdefense Philippines said PTV used a photo of a People’s Liberation Army Navy Type 054A Jiangkai II-class vessel but showed the frigate was flying the Philippine flag, not the Chinese flag.

“Why does the government need to do unnecessary fake news when it can simply use a photo of the Philippine Navy’s own frigate? Is it because they want to show the PN’s frigate is fully equipped and capable to go to Libya when in reality it is not?” Maxdefense said on Monday.

The Philippine Defense Forces Forum also took a jab at PTV using screenshots of the video report posted on Facebook.

“Shame on you PTV for broadcasting altered photos claiming these as current assets of the Philippine Navy. You presented false and misleading information to the public,” it said.

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Shame on you PTV for broadcasting altered photos claiming these as current assets of our Philippine Navy. You presented false and misleading information to the public.#FakeNews #ThisIsWhereOurTaxesGo

Posted by Philippines Defense Forces Forum on Sunday, August 5, 2018

Apology

PTV has taken down the Facebook post and in a statement on Tuesday apologized “for the inadvertent use of wrong photos” for the story.

It said an Ulat Bayan program video editor who downloaded the photos “without proper verification” had already been “sanctioned.”

Other PTV producers and editors have been warned against making “similar mistakes in the future,” it added.

“Moving forward, we shall take more diligent measures to deliver straightforward news to the Filipino people,” PTV said.

Inquirer.net has found that the edited image appeared on an article published in February by Concept News Central, a local website that collates news.

PTV is under the supervision of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which has a budget of P1.38 billion this year and seeks to increase it to P1.41 billion for 2019.

On Friday, Mr. Duterte said he might send the Philippine Navy’s most modern frigate to waters off Libya in a bid to “save” three Filipinos and a South Korean kidnapped last month from a water plant in the north African country.

‘Force package’

The Navy spokesperson, Cmdr. Jonathan Zata, said the Navy was looking to send a Del Pilar-class frigate and a contingent of Marines as part of a “force package” to assist in rescuing the hostages “[p]ursuant to the directive of the Commander in Chief.”

The Navy’s Del Pilar-class frigates, all former Hamilton-class cutters of the US Coast Guard, were acquired by the Philippines under the Excess Defense Articles and the Foreign Assistance Act of the United States.

They have a cruising range of 26,700 kilometers without refueling but do not have a missile system.

Roque, however, told reporters on Tuesday that the President had decided instead to form the “high-level task force” in Monday’s Cabinet meeting.

“He has stated previously that he was thinking of sending frigates together . . . to at least send the message that the President takes the plight of the OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] very seriously,” Roque said.

The task force will be headed by Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and will include Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Concerns Abdullah Mamao, and Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto. /kga /pdi /atm

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TAGS: frigates, Navy, People’s Television, Photo, PTV
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