HOAX: Tagle's 'verbal exchange' with Duterte, 'replace the State' quote

Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte lectured Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle about Philippine criminality, and Tagle said that the church should lead the country, and not the State.

For the first claim, the Facebook page “BOSS” posted on June 29 an alleged verbal exchange between Duterte and Tagle. The conversation supposedly started with Duterte telling Tagle, “Your job is to educate the faithful, my job is to eradicate those who are killing the faithful.”

Within the same day, the post was shared 3,662 times and garnered 2,900 likes and reactions.

The claim was posted by 3 other blogs, one of which was posted in 8 Facebook pages and groups and had 2,621 interactions and 1,008,534 followers.

The second claim was posted by another Facebook page named, “Social News Media” on June 26. It garnered 7,419 shares and 2,400 likes and reactions. It is a photo of Tagle with a quote where the Cardinal supposedly suggested that the church could lead the country better than the State. It also supposedly asked for assistance in battling “dictator Duterte.”

The facts: The Cardinal’s office confirmed that both statements are fake. “I categorically state that these two memes are fake. These are not statements made by Cardinal Tagle,” Father Reginald Malicdem, private secretary of Tagle, told Rappler.

None of the major news groups published any reports confirming that the conversations where Tagle supposedly made these statements ever happened. 

This is not the first time the first meme came up. In December 2016, a Facebook page named, “President Mayor Duterte of the Philippines in Negros,” published the same meme. That earlier post had a higher engagement rate: 28,480 shares and 41,000 likes and reactions.

The Duterte-Tagle exchange from BOSS received comments that were either admiring Duterte's jabs against Tagle or attacks to Tagle and the Catholic Church. Below is a screengrab showing the top 4 comments.

 

The content of the two Facebook pages, BOSS and Social News Media, is a mix of pro-Duterte stories, gossip, and humor posts. (READ: 10 tips on how to spot fake news from Facebook)

Most of the user reviews on the Social News Media Facebook page called it out for publishing “fake news” and “anti-Catholic” propaganda. 

Be wary of fake news related to timely topics. Following President Rodrigo Duterte's tirades against the Catholic Church, Rappler has checked 3 recent church-related hoax stories about a priest’s wallet containing two condoms, a video of a priest in the slay of a Camarines Sur woman, and the Pope praising Duterte

A number of Catholic bishops have recently raised concerns over the recent killings of priests. (READ: 'They are killing our flock. They are killing us shepherds.') Tagle also recently urged  the public not to be distracted with Duterte’s “Your God is stupid” remark and other comments against the Catholic Church. – Miguel Imperial/Rappler.com