Disaster Fact Checks

MISSING CONTEXT: Duterte quote on why Robredo can’t be president

Rappler
MISSING CONTEXT: Duterte quote on why Robredo can’t be president
The President said Robredo couldn't lead in November 2020, after Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), not in December 2021, during Typhoon Odette (Rai)
At a glance
  • Claim: Inquirer.net posted a social media graphic about President Rodrigo Duterte saying Vice President Leni Robredo cannot be the president because she “gives orders on the day of the typhoon.” The graphic was shared on December 17, when Typhoon Odette (Rai) made landfall in the Philippines.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: Duterte said in November 2020, after Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), that Robredo couldn’t be president. He did not say this on December 17, 2021. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: A post containing this claim was posted on the “Fact-Checking in the Philippines” Facebook group for verification. As of writing, it has accumulated 24,000 reactions, 67 comments, and 22,000 shares.
Complete details 

A Facebook post features a social media graphic by Inquirer.net that says President Rodrigo Duterte told Vice President Leni Robredo that she couldn’t be president because she “gives orders on the day of the typhoon.”

It was posted on December 17, the day Typhoon Odette (Rai) made landfall in the Philippines. It was posted by Tom Berenguer, a member of the “Impeach Leni Movement,” which drafted a complaint to impeach the Vice President in 2017. 

The full text on the graphic read: “Duterte to Robredo: Give orders on day of typhoon? That’s why you can’t be president. Vice President Leni Robredo cannot become the president of the country if she thinks the commander-in-chief should give orders on the day itself that a typhoon is expected to hit, President Rodrigo Duterte said.”

Berenguer’s post was shared on the “Fact-Checking in the Philippines” Facebook group for verification. As of writing, it has accumulated 24,000 reactions, 67 comments, and 22,000 shares.

This post is missing context. 

Inquirer.net released the social media graphic on November 18, 2020, after Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), not December 17, 2021. 

In their report, Inquirer.net said that Duterte claimed that Robredo asked about his whereabouts when Typhoon Ulysses hit, but she did not make such a remark herself. 

However, the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo trended when Ulysses brought intense flooding to parts of Luzon. The political opposition, the Liberal Party, had previously denied Malacañang’s claim that it started the hashtag. Robredo is chairperson of the LP.

What Duterte said about Robredo’s inability to lead the country was part of a longer rant that occurred during his weekly televised address on November 17, 2020. 

Must Read

Duterte spews lies, threats against Robredo over typhoon response

Duterte spews lies, threats against Robredo over typhoon response

In the same speech, Duterte falsely claimed that Robredo did not contribute to typhoon response efforts and that Robredo somehow deceived the public into thinking the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, which he attended while Ulysses was raging across Luzon, did not happen.

The President also threatened to ruin Robredo’s chances of being elected president if she decided to run for office in 2022 and made misogynistic remarks against her. Robredo has since filed her certificate of candidacy for president for the 2022 national elections.

Aside from Inquirer.net and Rappler, news media like Philstar.com, Philippine News Agency, and Manila Bulletin reported on Duterte’s speech in November 2020. 

As of December 25, there are more than 300 dead due to Typhoon Odette. – Vernise Tantuco/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.