Screenshot of imaginary map
Fact check: No, this is not a map of the Philippines’ high-speed rail system
(Agence France-Presse) - October 20, 2018 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A widely-shared Facebook post contains a map that claims to show the Philippines’ high-speed rail system. The Department of Transportation told AFP the country does not have a high-speed rail network. A reverse image search found the map was created by a blogger who told AFP it was a “complete work of fiction”.

The map in the widely-shared Facebook post shows a series of lines running up and down the southeast Asian archipelago.

The post says: "President Duterte is doing his best to improve Philippine transport system in the Philippines".

Here is a screenshot of the post: 

A reverse image search showed that the picture was posted online here in February 2014.

The blog entry describes the image as "an imaginary map" of a high-speed network that spans the Philippines.

Here is a screengrab of the original post:

The blogger, Michael Gonzalez, told AFP: “Yes, that's my blog and I made that map, a complete work of fiction.”

“I never shared my work anywhere claiming that it was an actual project, so someone at some point must have taken it and shared it for malicious purposes,” he added.

Undersecretary Timothy Batan from the Department of Transportation also told AFP that the Philippines does not have a high-speed rail system yet but there are plans to eventually have one.

“There are plans to eventually build a High Speed Rail (HSR) system and the current pipeline of projects are being designed for eventual upgrading to HSR”.

He also said the correct image of the planned rail system for the Philippines is the one below:

The post has been shared over 7,000 times by Facebook groups and pages with combined followers of nearly 630,000.  Most of these Facebook accounts support Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

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