FALSE: Abu Sayyaf thanked actors, politicians opposing anti-terror bill

Claim: Terror group Abu Sayyaf thanked actors and politicians for opposing the anti-terrorism bill passed by Congress in June 2020.

Facebook page Bayan Ko Ph shared a link from website asianpolicy.press on June 18. The page captioned its post: "Nagpapasalamat ang ABU SAYYAF sa mga kakampi nila sa pagkondena sa Anti-Terror Bill. Zarate, Elago, Pangilinan, Hontiveros, Diokno, Delima, Drillon, Enchong Dee, Coco Martin, et al... aba'y mag ‘you're welcome’ naman kayo bilang pag-acknowledge sa kasama nyong grupo!"

(The Abu Sayyaf thanked their allies in opposing the anti-terror bill. [Carlos] Zarate, [Sarah] Elago, [Kiko] Pangilinan, [Risa] Hontiveros, [Chel] Diokno, [Leila] de Lima, [Franklin] Drilon, Enchong Dee, Coco Martin et al… Say "you're welcome" and acknowledge the group allied with you.)

The blog post by asianpolicy.press shared by Bayan Ko Ph was titled "Abu Sayyaf, pinasalamatan ang mga artista, politiko, atbp. na nag-rally para kondenahin Anti-Terror Bill" (Abu Sayyaf thanks actors, politicians, etc who joined the rally condemning the anti-terror bill).

Claim Check, Facebook's monitoring tool that identifies suspicious posts, flagged the post by asianpolicy.press. It was reported at least 7 times on the platform for containing false information.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: In the blog post by asianpolicy.press shared by Bayan Ko Ph, it said that the information came from a meme that was made only for fun. The blog post is also no longer available as of writing.

Internet archive Wayback Machine captured a version of the blog post on June 18 before it was taken down. Although the headline of the blog post explicitly stated that the Abu Sayyaf thanked those who joined the protests against the anti-terrorism bill, the content of the blog said the whole thing was based only on a viral post.

Buried in the 3rd to the last paragraph of the blog post, asianpolicy.press said, "Bagamat isang katuwaan lamang ang naturang meme, hindi maikakaila sumasalamin din ito sa realidad" (Although the meme was made only for fun, it's undeniable that it also reflects reality).

This was not reflected in the post by Bayan Ko Ph, and the comments showed that its readers believed that the terror group really thanked the protesters.

A reverse image search of the photo of the Abu Sayyaf used in the meme also showed that it was taken as early as 2016 – way before the protests took place on June 4.

On June 5, President Rodrigo Duterte certified the anti-terrorism bill as urgent. On June 16, Malacañang said Duterte is "inclined" to sign the bill into law after Congress submitted it to his office on June 9. (READ: EXPLAINER: Comparing dangers in old law and anti-terror bill) – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

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