Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Robredo did not bother to visit Typhoon Ulysses victims in Rodriguez, Rizal

Rappler
FALSE: Robredo did not bother to visit Typhoon Ulysses victims in Rodriguez, Rizal
Robredo visited Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Rodriguez on November 12, a day after Ulysses hit land
At a glance:
  • Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo did not bother to visit Rodriguez, Rizal even though it sustained the most damage from Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) in the province. She instead visited the neighboring town of San Mateo for photo ops.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Robredo visited the Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Rodriguez on November 12. Robredo had also not yet visited the municipality of San Mateo – as falsely claimed – when it started circulating on November 16.
  • Why we fact checked this: Several readers emailed screenshots containing the claim to Rappler for verification. Facebook’s monitoring tool also flagged at least 19 separate posts shared on the platform with the same claim.
Complete details:

A comment by Facebook user Vivian Mulat falsely claimed that Vice President Leni Robredo did not make an effort to visit the municipality of Rodriguez even though it sustained the most damage from Typhoon Ulysses in the province of Rizal. She instead went to the neighboring town of San Mateo, where she supposedly stayed for less than 30 minutes in one evacuation center.

This is false. Robredo visited Rodriguez on November 12, a day after Ulysses hit land in the country. She had not yet visited San Mateo when the claim first appeared, as confirmed by Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez in a Viber message. Robredo’s first visit to San Mateo was on November 19.

Screenshots of Mulat’s comment circulated as early as November 16. Other Facebook users took a screenshot of an identical post by Facebook user John Paolo Nartatez, which contained the same claim almost word-for-word. Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool, flagged at least 19 different posts containing the claim for fact checkers to verify.

The Vice President’s official Facebook page uploaded an 8-minute video showing her interaction with the evacuees at Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Barangay San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.

At the 2:24 mark, a resident says: “Kung ano mang maibigay ng mga kababayan natin ay nananawagan po kami sa bayan ng Rodriguez, Rizal, na sana ay mabigyan ‘nyo po kami lalo sa Kasiglahan. Hindi lang po sa Kasiglahan, sa buong bayan ng Montalban (former name of Rodriguez).” Behind him is a board where “Kasiglahan Village Elementary School” can be seen.

(We in the town of Rodriguez, Rizal, especially here in Kasiglahan, are pleading to our fellow countrymen to donate whatever they can. Not only for us here in Kasiglahan, but for everyone in the whole municipality of Montalban.)

At around the 6:04 mark, Robredo asks evacuees where they reside. The evacuees then say they are residents of “1K2,” which is also located in Kasiglahan Village.

News organizations reported on Robredo’s visit to Rodriguez as well, including Inquirer.net, Manila Bulletin, and Manila Times.

It’s not clear where Mulat made the comment on Facebook. Nartatez’s post, meanwhile, is no longer publicly available on his account as of writing.

A related false claim about Robredo also circulated days before she visited San Mateo. It said that the Vice President supposedly donated chicharon or deep-fried pork rind to evacuees in the area. (READ: FALSE: Robredo donated chicharon to typhoon victims in San Mateo, Rizal) – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

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