May 24, 2017

Inquirer Releases Statement Apologizing For Erroneous Photos They Posted On Facebook About The Marawi City Siege

The Philippine Daily Inquirer released a statement today with regards to the erroneous photos they posted on Facebook about the Marawi City siege. It can be recalled that earlier today, the Inquirer posted photos of what they claimed were taken in Marawi City. However, in reality, most of the photos were taken not in Marawi City but in another Mindanao City in 2013. Filipino citizens criticized the erroneous photos which immediately went viral. Inquirer has since deleted the photos and the post.

Here's the statement released by the Inquirer about the issue:
"At around 11 am today, May 24, the Inquirer posted on its Facebook page five photos purportedly taken in the aftermath of the Marawi City siege. The photos came from a reliable source, a government official in the city, who sought to express the trauma the people of Marawi were experiencing. Before we could complete the verification process (including having another reporter call the source and doing a reverse-image search), we posted all five photos.

That was a mistake, and we apologize unreservedly. Two of the photos were taken down around noon, when we double-checked with the source, and the rest were removed around 1 pm, when even the source’s assurances could no longer be supported. We regret not moving fast enough to correct the mistake.

We regret even more that this mistake cast a shadow over the reporting that the entire Inquirer Group put into the coverage of both the siege and the subsequent declaration of martial law. Those print, online, social, and radio stories were the best obtainable version of the truth at the time we reported them.
Moving forward, we will review our procedures and impose the necessary sanctions to make sure that this mistake will not happen again, even as we remain committed to cover the developing story as best we can."