Misleading: World-famous structures light up for Marcos, Duterte-Carpio polls victory

May 25, 2022 - 5:31 PM
Eiffel Tower in Paris, France lights up for finalists of the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship. (Twitter/EURO2024)

CLAIM: Circulating photos of world-famous landmarks and structures lit up to congratulate the presumptive president and vice-president elects Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Pictures of Tokyo Tower, the Colosseum, Sydney Opera House, the Burj Khalifa Tower, Kingdom Centre Tower, the Sky Tower and the Eiffel Tower bathed in red and green lights were being shared online.

Red is the known political color of the Marcos family while Duterte-Carpio is associated with green.

The images were posted by Facebook accounts before Congress formally proclaimed the two as winners of the 2022 national elections.


RATING: These are misleading.


Tokyo Tower 

A reverse image search of the picture of Japan reveals it was sourced from a press release announcing the lighting for the Tokyo Paralympics that was held in 2021.

The tower was lit up in five colors representing the traditional Buddhist flag—blue, white, red, yellow and green.

The Colosseum

A picture of the Roman structure was traced to a 2016 lighting event commemorating the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Japan.

Burj Khalifa Tower

A picture of the tower appeared on a journalist’s Twitter account in 2020, where it was reported that the tower was lit up in the colors of the Afghanistan flag to celebrate its independence day.

Kingdom Centre Tower

A previous fact check report noted that the tower has been flashing lights to “glow with a unique identity each night.”

In 2016, it showed red and green lights to celebrate the United Arab Emirates’ 45th national day of celebration.

Three years later, a Twitter user claimed that it flashed red lights to celebrate Sudan.

Sky Tower

A fact check report from UP sa Halalan said that the tower in New Zealand was thought of as the Macau Tower.

In reality, the Auckland-based tower is often lighted up for community initiatives and to mark national holidays or other milestones.

In the Christmas season, it is lighted up in red and green.

Eiffel Tower 

Another report notes that France’s famous landmark once flashed the same lights during the 2016 UEFA Championship for Portugal, which has red and green as its flag colors.

Sydney Opera House 

In 1999, the performing arts center was lit in red, according to The Independent.

Another picture shows its roof bearing the images of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.

(Screengrab from Facebook by Interaksyon)

A Facebook post from the group “AUSTRALIA FOR BBM-SARA” claims that the picture was “not real in the sense that it was actually showcased at the Opera House.”

“The very first image was sent to me by my good friend Dizzy Dizon. He created that design. He shared it with me — with the intention of just being creative and in tune with the political climate in the Philippines,” a Facebook user wrote in the group.

“There was no intention to mislead the people that it (BBMSARA featured at the Opera House) was real. The only real thing is that it was designed by my good friend,” he added.

Why it matters 

Despite some of the pictures being tagged in past fact check reports already, there are still social media users posting and claiming it is related to the 2022 national elections.

One of the pages which shared the picture, “Letzkie Vlog,” has 16,000 followers.

Another post that compiled the images has reached 15 shares, 55 likes and reactions and 11 comments from supporters of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.

This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts.

Interaksyon is part of #FactsFirstPH, a multi-sectoral initiative promoting truth in public space and demanding accountability for falsehoods. For those interested to join the initiative, email [email protected]

Interaksyon is also a founding partner of Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippine elections. It is an initiative of academe, civil society groups and media to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.