Wednesday, March 20News That Matters

Bam Aquino Uses LA Times 2012 Photo in Criticizing Duterte’s Train Law

For the 4th time, Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV criticized the supposed negative effect of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. But this time, he used a 2012 photo of a poor Filipino family taken by Los Angeles Times (or LA Times) to exaggerate the issue.

In his blog post last May 12 entitled “Poor Filipinos are collateral damage of TRAIN and Build-Build-Build,” That time, Sen. Bam Aquino was reacting to the statement of the Department of Finance (DoF) that funds for free college education and salary increase of uniformed personnel will be greatly affected if the TRAIN Law Act will be suspended.

”Hindi puwedeng collateral damage ang ating mga kababayan sa hangarin na magkaroon ng maraming tulay at kalsada sa bansa. Habang mahalaga ang infrastructure projects, huwag nating hayaang magdusa ang mahihirap na kababayan natin,” Aquino, who is set to run for reelections in 2019, said in his blog post.

(Our countrymen should not be used as collateral damage just because they want to build a lot of bridges and roads in our country. While infrastructure projects are also important, let us allow poor families to be affected.)

“Napakatindi na ng pag-aray ng ating mga kababayan sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin. (Our countrymen have been crying over the increasing prices [of prime commodities and services].” The Liberal Party (LP) added, noting that the Duterte government should also consider the welfare of Filipino poor families being affected by TRAIN Law.

However, some netizens on Twitter accused Bam Aquino of using an old photo for his blog post and is just exaggerating the issue for his re-election campaign in 2012. The said photo shows a poor Filipino family eating on the floor, sharing little food with several young children. By looking closer, it was credited to Rick Loomis of LA Times.

After doing some research, we found out that the photo in question is indeed taken back in 2012 or even earlier. We found the same exact photo in an article entitled “Philippines birth control: Filipinos want it, priests don’t,” published at on July 22, 2012. Ironically, the president at that time was Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Sen. Bam’s first cousin.

Screenshot Credit: Bam Aquino Twitter

Screenshot Credit: LA Times is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon(.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

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