Faking it in the Philippines


A manipulated photo depicting Philippines officials assessing damage from Typhoon Nerat, which brought left 35 dead in the island nation. An engineer and blogger, Pierre Albert San Diego, spotted the fake photo on an official Facebook account, condemned it and prompted an apology from the government.

There's something off about this trio of concerned Philippines bureaucrats, who are dutifully inspecting rubble left behind by a deadly typhoon.

One is tiptoeing atop a chunk of concrete. Another appears to be levitating.

A Filipino blogger and engineer, Pierre Albert San Diego, took the time to analyze the image, posted to an official government Facebook account.

His diagnosis? An awful Photoshop job.

A government office has since conceded that the photo is bogus, the Manila-based ABS-CBN news outlet reports.

So did this trio of engineers even visit this damaged part of Manila? Which appears badly damaged by Typhoon Nerat, which has since killed more than 35 people?

Actually, they did. In fact, you can see two of them strolling in the background of the Photoshopped picture.

The Department of Public Works and Highways apology, delivered via Facebook, doesn't fully explain why they'd fake a photo at a site the engineers actually visited.

But Pierre, the blogging engineer, has his theories.

According to ABS-CBN, he said: ""Although my evil mind tells me that the DPWH wants a pogi photo showing their bosses in deep thought while assessing the disaster site, and they didn’t have the opportunity to pose because those guys were probably there for 15 minutes max – so they just lasso tooled the hell out of that pic."

(Translations: Pogi means "handsome" in the Philippines. And "lasso tool" is a photo cropping technique.)

His original post is here.