Fake Apu Ceto Facebook account now wants donations for Marawi

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The fake Facebook account under the name of Archbishop Emeritus Paciano Aniceto is at it again as two government officials were reportedly messaged by the operator of the account asking for donations for the Saint Mary's Cathedral in Marawi City.

The two government officials told SunStar Pampanga that they received a "friend invite" from the account last week which they accepted. The account operator allegedly contacted the two officials asking for donations for Marawi. It could be remembered that the Cathedral was heavily damaged in the ongoing war between government forces and Maute rebels.

The officials reportedly agreed to give donations through a bank account. Fortunately, the two officials were notified by their staff that the account is fake after reading about an article published on this paper.

"It is a surprise that the account is still active. It could pass as a legitimate account since most of the friends of the account are high profile government officials and even businessmen. What surprised me was that the account operator new some details about the Archbishop that only those close to him would know," the politician who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

The official also urged the Archdiocese of San Fernando to denounce the account and inform the public of its modus operandi. The politician also said that the Archdiocese of San Fernando should petition Facebook managers to remove the account to prevent it from victimizing others.

The other politician said that there should be an investigation on the said account adding that it could be a laity worker affiliated with the Archdiocese or even a person disgruntled with the Catholic Church who may be operating the said account as it obviously had accessed to photos, information and details regarding the Archbishop Emeritus.

"The Archdiocese should step up and protect the reputation of our beloved Apu Ceto," the politician added.

The account, "Abp Paciano Aniceto," is still up and running on Facebook.

It now has 1,592 friends that include high profile politicians, government workers, media and Catholic church supporters. The account enjoys regular likes and shared posting from its friends despite earlier statements from the Archdiocese of San Fernando discrediting the existence of the said account.

Facebook user policy has rules on fake accounts. However, complaints should be formally filed with Facebook for it to take down a fake account. The bogus account is still active on Facebook and in its August 22 post, the account is soliciting to "raise an amount of P87,000 for the project in line with the Arzobispado's renovation for the upcoming anniversary."

The account is even using the poster designs for the upcoming 61st Canonical Coronation Anniversary of the Virgen delos Remedios.

Aniceto cautioned Catholics regarding the fake account and asked that they disregard calls for donations made by the user.

"So please disregard all these appeals or request for donations. Wala po akong kaugnayan ni ano man sa mga ganitong projects na palsipikado. Salamat po sa inyong pagtulong (I have nothing to do with such fake projects. Thank you for your help)," Aniceto said.

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