Fake ‘Manny Pacquiao’ Facebook Page Promising 60 Free Houses Goes Viral in the Philippines

A Facebook community page called “Sen. Manny Pacquiao” blew up hours after the Filipino boxer’s win against Lucas Matthysse by promising free properties to 60 people.

To win the houses and lots, netizens were required to take three simple steps. They must “like” the page, share the post, and comment “congrats” underneath it.

In just 11 hours, the post — which was later taken down — garnered more than half a million shares and over 225,000 likes.

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Unsuspecting netizens hopeful to win one of the properties shared stories of their plight in the comments section:

“Congrats. We really need a house, Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Our house has a lot of holes [in the roof]. We get wet every time it rains.”
“Congrats Sen. Manny Pacquiao… I hope to be one of those chosen for your housing so we can have our own home … My children live with my sibling while I work for their education. I’m widowed.”
“Congrats Sir Manny … God picked you. Now I wish to be picked so that we no longer have to sleep in other people’s house. I wish to be lucky, you are my hope to reach my dreams.”
“I returned from Saudi Arabia. I only lasted [working] there for a year because I received bad treatment from the son of the family I’m working for … If ever I am chosen I will be in huge gratitude… Our house is already too dangerous to live in because of termites and my husband is only earning enough that we cannot afford to have it fixed.”
“Congrats Sir Manny I hope you can help my mother and father in the province. My father suffered a stroke before. He already recovered but he is no longer as strong as before, while my mother has a goiter.”
“Congrats Senator. I just want to tell you that I have long been wanting to own a house. I live with my siblings … We have been orphans since we were children when our mother and father died… I hope to be chosen.”
“Congrats senator… I hope to be one of those to receive your blessing. I have long been dreaming of owning a house. My husband is a tricycle driver. We have been married for 12 years but were are still living with his parents… We cannot afford to rent.”
“Congrats idol for your victory, we have been watching you since I was a teenager. Now that I have my own family, I hope to win this contest because we also don’t own a house and are only renting… I am only a seller and an ice cream vendor.”

However, many were skeptical that the post was a hoax, as no official announcement had come from Pacquiao’s verified Facebook page.

“That’s nothing. Posts like these only want likes and shares. I’m ‘unliking’ this page as I’ve seen similar posts before, those promising iPhones, cars, houses and lots, etc. There was nothing.”
“Manny Pacquiao has not said anything like that. If the admin of this page is detected, he/she will face charges. Don’t make issues like this.”
“Hi! I was the person who commented on your post earlier. You deleted it so I’m saying this again… Guys, don’t fall too quickly. This only wants ‘likes’ and comments. It’s enough that our champion won bearing the name of our country. Don’t be deceived by this post.”

This is not the first time that a Facebook page posing as Pacquiao lured thousands of Filipinos over free housing.

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In late 2016, a page called “Sen. Manny Pacquiao Libreng Pahabay” (“Sen. Manny Pacquiao Free Housing”) promised 2,000 homes throughout the archipelago, requiring users to comment their locations and tag five relatives as “they might also win.”

While the fate of these Facebook pages is unclear, the volume of comments shows the overwhelming need to do better in distinguishing authentic posts from a hoax.

Legitimate updates from Manny Pacquiao come from his verified Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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