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In the Philippines, a Flourishing Ecosystem for Political Lies


CAVITE, Philippines — Arnel Agravante, a YouTuber in the Philippines, told his followers last October that he knew how Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the presidential front-runner and his candidate of choice, had become wealthy.The story, he said, was simple: Mr. Marcos’s dictator father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., did not steal money from the government, as has been widely reported. Rather, he was given tons of gold by a secretive royal family in the Philippines. “That’s what they call ‘ill-gotten wealth,’” Mr. Agravante said, ridiculing Mr. Marcos’s critics.The gold story has been debunked by multiple fact checkers as well as by Mr. Marcos himself, but that has not stopped Mr. Agravante from repeating it. The way he sees it, he is part of the “alternative …

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