Pro-Marcos page misleads with old Philstar graphic

Written by
University of the Philippines Journalism Department
Last modified
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 16:17
Screenshot of pro-Marcos Facebook page

A pro-Marcos Facebook page posted April 8 a misleading claim that The Philippine Star released a fake senatorial preferences survey that moved Senate bet Imee Marcos down to 14th place.

The post from Marcos Loyalist Philippines, “Did you know why Philippine Star is always an anti-Marcos newspaper?”, published an old graphic from the online news portal and said:

Did you know why Philippine Star is always an anti-Marcos newspaper? Basahin po ninyo lahat ng nakasulat. Naglalabas ng FAKE SURVEY at nilaglag si Manang Imee Marcos sa pang rank 14 (Read all that is written. It released a fake survey and moved Imee Marcos to rank 14).

It called the broadsheet “anti-Marcos” because of its association with the late president Corazon Aquino.

The Facebook page was actually referring to a July 9, 2018 article of that correctly reported Pulse Asia’s June 2018 survey results in its text and graphic.

Arranging the candidates according to voter preference, the graphic did not even state that Marcos, with her 29.9 percent, was 14th. Pulse Asia placed her in the 13th to 20th bracket at the time.

The Philippine Star publishes its stories online through The two are separate companies and produce their own content. Although several of their owners are the same, their ownership and organizational structures are different. also accurately reported Pulse Asia’s more recent surveys in February 2019  and March 2019.  

Its story on the February 2019 poll said Marcos was among the candidates with a “statistical chance of making it to the winners’ circle.” A graphic showed her in “9-14” spots with 36 percent voters likely to pick her. graphic

Its report on the March 2019 results said:

Completing the ‘Magic 12’ are former Sen. Bong Revilla with 40.9% and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos with 39%.

In tracing the beginnings and ownership of The Philippine Star, co-founded by the Belmonte family who supported Corazon Aquino, Marcos Loyalist Philippines lifted from the research on media ownership by Reporters Without Borders and Vera Files.   

The November 2016 research quoted the paper's president and chief executive officer Miguel Belmonte as saying,  "(T)he paper supports the current Duterte administration."

Joy Belmonte, the incumbent Quezon City vice mayor who owns shares across different companies of STAR, is now running for mayor with the backing of the administration Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), which is also supporting Marcos’ candidacy.

Belmonte’s local party Serbisyo ng Bayan entered into an alliance with Sara Duterte’s HNP in August. Her father, Feliciano Jr., had been a Liberal Party stalwart since 2009 till he resigned from the party associated with the Aquinos in October.

The Facebook post has received 833 total interactions as of writing. Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle shows its top sources of interactions are Facebook pages Marcos Loyalist, Marcos Defenders Worldwide Unlimited and Bongbong Marcos United Nationwide apart from Marcos Loyalist Philippines.


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