State-run PTV on Wednesday apologized for posting #DutertePalpak on Twitter, adding the "malicious" incident was under investigation.
The "original caption" to the tweet posted at 7 p.m. on its verified account was only supposed to indicate President Rodrigo Duterte's call to provide free face masks to the public to help curb rising COVID cases, PTV said in a statement.
But the posted tweet ended up with the hashtag in question, as well as the word "BTS", which are both top trends for that day.
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"President Rodrigo R. #dutertepalpak BTS reiterated his order to provide free masks for the public especially to those who cannot buy their own," said the now-deleted tweet, screenshots of which are circulating on social media.
PTV called the tweet "malicious", saying they are looking into the intent behind it. The #DutertePalpak hashtag trended as the Philippines marked one year since the 2020 lockdown and with COVID cases again on the rise.
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