VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos DID NOT shut down Meralco

April 19, 2023


A YouTube video falsely claims that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has closed down the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). The power firm is still operating under its 25-year franchise. 

Posted on April 5, the 17-minute video carried the untrue headline: 

KAKAPASOK LANG OMG! mga OLlGARKO NAPRANlNG na MERALCO SARADOnani PBBM TULFO SUMALUDO DlLAWAN lYAK (JUST IN OMG! OLIGARCHS BECAME PARANOID MERALCO SHUT DOWN BY PBBM TULFO SALUTED YELLOWS WEEP).”

Its thumbnail featured text that read:

GOODBYE MERALCO NA. ITO ANG NAGPA-IYAK SA MGA OLIGARKO DILAWAN. PARA SA PILIPINAS TO! MARAMING SALAMAT PBBM ANG DAMI (GOODBYE NOW TO MERALCO. THIS IS WHAT MADE THE OLIGARCHS YELLOWS CRY. THIS IS FOR THE PHILIPPINES. THANK YOU PBBM THAT’S A LOT ).”

A photo of Marcos was also made to look like he was holding a document bearing Meralco’s logo, accompanied by text saying it is “confirmed” to be “closed down.”

This is false. Marcos has not signed anything related to Meralco’s operations. Its legislative franchise granted through Republic Act No. 9209 has not expired nor has it been revoked by Congress.

Another photo used in the thumbnail shows a battery energy storage facility in California. It is not San Miguel Corporation (SMC)’s Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Bataan that Marcos inaugurated on March 31. 

No evidence was shown in the video to prove its claim. It only carried narrations about the inauguration, a related Philippine Daily Inquirer report, a promotional video for BESS and Marcos’ speech during the event. The president made no mention of Meralco.

In July 2022, two lawmakers filed House Resolution No. 31 seeking a probe into conflicting power purchase data allegedly reported by Meralco and for possible violations that may lead to their franchise revocation. However, this remains pending at the committee level.

The false video was posted a week after the BESS inauguration. 

VERA Files Fact Check debunked similar false information on Marcos shutting down Meralco last year. (Read Marcos, Marcoleta DID NOT sign measure to close down Meralco)

Uploaded by the YouTube channel PINAS NEWS INSIDER (Dec. 26, 2015) which has a history of spreading false information, the video has 129,896 views as of writing. Netizens also shared the link on Facebook. YouTube channel XCREW (March 18, 2014) also posted a reaction video using the same false headline and thumbnail. 

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)



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VERA Files

VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit, independent media organization. Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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