MANILA, Philippines – Activist leader Renato Reyes Jr became the latest target of fake news after an article claiming his son crashed a sports car spread online on Sunday, January 7.
The inaccurate and misleading article, posted on a blog calling itself "Newstv5", had the title "Renato Reyes Son Crashes P1.9M Sports Car in Pampanga."
The story alleged that Reyes has a 23-year-old son named "Renato Reyes III" who was "speeding" along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and supposedly lost control of a Toyota GT86. This son supposedly "suffered broken ribs" while a "16-year-old female companion" had "facial injuries."
The story also claimed that Reyes and his wife did not comment on the incident but "visited their son at the hospital." (WATCH: What is fake news?)
In a series of tweets, Reyes, the secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), refuted the claims in the story.
"My son is 9 years old. Hindi pa siya nakakapag-drive. Wala din kaming sports car. Kung may mahanap ka, iyo na. Ang pag-usapan natin ay 'yung higher taxes, martial law, at term extension, not fake news," he said.
(My son is 9 years old. He can't drive yet. We also don't own a sports car. If you find one, then it's yours. We should talk about higher taxes, martial law, and term extension, not fake news.)
"And no, my son's name is not 'Renato Reyes III'..... Some Duterte and Marcos groups are behind the fake news that even used an old 2014 pic from Top Gear," he also said.
The story was shared on various Facebook groups and pages such as "CTPG Philippines," "(vf) DDS / Diehard Duterte Supporters," "Team Duterte for Federalism," and "Showbiz Government" among others, generating more than 6,800 interactions as of Sunday night. (WATCH: 6 ways to spot a fake news article)
Reagrding the #FakeNews that my son crashed an expensive sports car: my son is 9 years old. Hindi pa siya nakakapag-drive. Wala din kaming sports car. Kung may mahanap ka, iyo na. Ang pag-usapan natin ay yung higher taxes, Martial Law at term extension, not #FakeNews — Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 7, 2018 Tomica at Matchbox lang meron yung anak ko. Ganung klase ng sports car. — Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 7, 2018 Baka naman eto? Toyota 86. pic.twitter.com/iql7Zc3VmM — Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 7, 2018 And no, my son's name is NOT "Renato Reyes III". He's just 9, can't drive and was not involved in any vehicular accident. Some Duterte and Marcos groups are behind the #FakeNews that even used an old 2014 pic from Top Gear. — Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 7, 2018 The picture used in the #FakeNews article about my "23-year old son" crashing a sports car, was from an old Top Gear article. Huwag basta maniwala. pic.twitter.com/lbZZawHvQE — Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 7, 2018 Ang mga promotor ng #FakeNews ay gumagamit din ng mga URL na akala mo mula sa legit news sites. Pero pag binasa mo story, basura. Pero may iba naman na napapaniwala pag nakita sa URL na may TV5 o GMA, CNN, kahit di totoo. — Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 7, 2018