Philippine paper falls for fake Aquino Time cover

A top Philippine newspaper Saturday was taken in by a spoof cover of Time magazine depicting President Benigno Aquino with his mouth agape, running the picture on its front page.

"We stand corrected. It was an honest mistake," said a short statement issued by the Inquirer's editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc.

She did not say who gave the paper the picture, which had the Filipino leader saying in its caption: "I'm just the face of the whole country."

The picture however remained on the paper's website on Saturday afternoon.

Time named Aquino on its annual list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World".

But he was not among the seven on the list who graced the covers of the magazine's US and global editions, according to the magazine's website.

The Spin Busters, a satirical website that focuses on local press issues, was the first to call out the fake cover, though the error was also pointed out by readers in the comments section of the paper's website.

"It's a faux Time cover not even his mother probably would have loved," Spin Busters said, while calling for the sacking of newspaper staff behind the mistake.

Aquino spokesman Ricky Carandang told AFP he did not wish to comment.

In the magazine, Time praised Aquino, son of the late Filipino leader and democracy icon Corazon Aquino, for "making his own name".

"The sputtering economy stabilised and became hot. Aquino pushed through a reproductive-rights law that many said was impossible in the fervently Catholic nation," it said.

"Most important, he became the face of the regional confrontation with Beijing over its claim to virtually all of the South China Sea. It is a brave stance, the long-term consequences still unknown."

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