Rigoberto Tiglao and Inquirer's viral Pieta photo, photo compiled from Manila Times
According to columnist and former politician Rigoberto Tiglao, the fakest news delivered during the pendency of the Rodrigo Duterte administration is a photo.

The photo, published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on its front page in July 24, 2016 was of a wife cradling the lifeless body of her husband in a Pieta-like position.

Michaelangelo’s Pieta (“pity” in Italian), which is one of the most iconic depictions of the Virgin Mary: the Mother cradling the dead body of her son Jesus Christ.

The dead was pedicab driver Michael Siaron, who according to the Inquirer was killed by police in President Duterte's drug war.

The photo was even published in Western newspapers, even in front pages.

As it turns out, after more than a year of police investigation, that the pedicab driver was killed by a drug syndicate’s assassin, one Nesty Santiago, who was also responsible for five other killings. The unique scratches – like fingerprints – on the bullets that murdered Siaron matched with the gun used by the killer, recovered when he was killed in December.

"Did the police invent this explanation? I don’t think so, or it could have fabricated that story at the height of that “Pieta” photo’s virality. Why would it come up with such an explanation, when the Yellows had clearly failed, going by the polls, in their campaign to portray the country as having been turned into a killing field because of Duterte’s war against illegal drugs," Tiglao said.

He said that the PDI intended to make the photo a "screaming poster" to portray Duterte's campaign as ruthless and inhumane.

"That front page was the work of a master propagandist intent to bring Duterte down, calculating – mistakenly – that he or she could use Filipinos’ Catholicism to create outrage against the President," Tiglao said.

"If still you didn’t get the message that it is God himself in his mysterious ways who is asking you to be outraged at Duterte’s war vs drugs, the PDI put a huge headline under the photo: “Thou shall not kill”. The headline really had nothing to do with the photo, and didn’t, by any journalistic standards, deserve to be a headline, as it was merely the title of a message of the Archbishop of Manila on the occasion of Duterte’s scheduled first SONA. No matter, it emphasized what the PDI editors wanted to convey,'" he added.

He added that the photo aided drug lords in their wish to remove Duterte from office.

Tiglao added that the people should consider the truths in reality in assessing Duterte's policies,one of which is the fact that policemen in fact kill suspects extrajudicially.

"Horrible? Of course. All of us wish we had a perfect world, a smoothly functioning justice system. But there just isn’t, and Duterte knows this when he launched his war against illegal drugs, which he thinks would save the country millions of lives in this and coming generations," he siad.

By the end of his article, however, Tiglao posed a disclaimer.

"*To be accurate, the PDI in the article that accompanied the photo did not blame the police, reporting only that the pedicab driver was killed by “two men riding on a motorcycle.” It was the photographer Lerma who would write four days later, referring to the victim: “It was the third extra-judicial killing of suspected drug pushers that I covered on the graveyard shift last week.” Extra-judicial killing is defined as executions by the police or other state agents of suspected criminals without the sanction of a court."

Source: manilatimes.net

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Inquirer’s Viral Pieta photo is "fakest fake news", -Rigoberto Tiglao Inquirer’s Viral Pieta photo is "fakest fake news", -Rigoberto Tiglao Reviewed by FN Correspondent on 24 October Rating: 5

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