FALSE: Leni Robredo says ‘virus is not our enemy, bats are’

FALSE: Leni Robredo says ‘virus is not our enemy, bats are’
The Vice President did not say the quote attributed to her

Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo said that “bats, not the virus, are our enemy.”

Hindi virus ang ating kalaban, kundi paniki (The virus is not our enemy, but bats),” a viral graphic dated March 15, 2020 quoted Robredo as saying.

One of the earliest posts of the graphic was by Facebook user Marjorie Ano-os on March 17, which has gathered 320 reactions, 114 comments, and 826 shares.

Facebook page Good Vibes Davao also posted the graphic, and has since gathered 155 reactions, 32 comments, and 270 shares.

Facebook Claim Check, the platform’s tool for monitoring potentially dubious claims, flagged roughly 40 posts containing the graphic. The graphic was also sent to Rappler via email for verification.

Rating: False

The facts: The Vice President did not say what was attributed to her. Robredo’s camp said it is a fake quote.

“Do I still need to say it? That is a completely fake quote. And this should probably lead us to ask, what kind of people still insist on fabricating fake news to bash the VP, while the country, the whole world, is facing a crisis,” spokesperson Barry Gutierrez told Rappler in a message.

Rappler also reached out to two of the earliest users and pages that shared the graphic to confirm their sources. Both of them did not respond. Both of their posts are still up as of writing.

On March 20, the Office of the Vice President delivered P5.3-million worth of novel coronavirus extraction kits, as well as several personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

This is not the first time a false quote about COVID-19 has been attributed to Robredo. Rappler recently debunked a post that said the Vice President suggests “inhaling cough back” to prevent the spread of the virus. – Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.


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