PTV probes use of #DutertePalpak in 'malicious' tweet

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State-run People's Television Network is looking into how the #DutertePalpak hashtag was carried in a tweet that was posted in its own verified account on Tuesday night.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — State-run People's Television Network will impose sanctions on its employees over the use of a #DutertePalpak hashtag in one of their social media posts on Tuesday night.

In a statement on Wednesday, PTV said the gaffe was due to a "predictive system in the text entry phase," a common feature on mobile devices which suggests the next word based on what has been typed on the screen.

PTV also cited the team's "failure to adequately review and screen the message that actually got posted."

"The management will certainly institute disciplinary sanctions against members of the social media team who are behind the erroneous posting," it said.

At around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, PTV's Twitter account posted a link to a story on President Rodrigo Duterte's call for localities to provide more face masks amid rising COVID-19 cases.

RELATED: Duterte repeats call for LGUs to provide face masks for everybody as coronavirus cases surge

The social media caption of its tweet read: "President Rodrigo R. #dutertepalpak BTS reiterated his order to provide free masks for the public especially to those who cannot buy their own."

The tweet was deleted a few minutes after, but netizens were quick to share screenshots of the gaffe.

PTV clarified in its previous statement that the hashtag was not supposed to be indicated in its original caption. It also described the post as "malicious."

"PTV New Media deeply regrets the error and take full responsibility for the oversight," it said.

The hashtag #DutertePalpak was among the trending topics on Twitter for the past two days as netizens looked back on how the government dealt with the pandemic a year into lockdown.

"Palpak" is a Filipino word which refers to failure.

The country logged 4,437 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 57,736 patients active cases or patients who are currently ill. Total COVID-19 cases are now at 631,320.

Foreign nationals and non-overseas Filipino workers are also now temporarily banned from entering the country, while minors in Metro Manila are prohibited from going outdoors as new COVID-19 cases continue to surge.