Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Robredo donated chicharon to typhoon victims in San Mateo, Rizal

Rappler
FALSE: Robredo donated chicharon to typhoon victims in San Mateo, Rizal
The Office of the Vice President is donating hot meals, food packs, hygiene kits, beds, and blankets to typhoon victims in parts of the country, not chicharon
At a glance:
  • Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo donated chicharon (deep-fried pork rind) to Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) victims in San Mateo, Rizal.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Robredo did not donate chicharon to the victims of the typhoon. She had not yet visited San Mateo when the posts first cropped up on social media.
  • Why we fact-checked this: At least 49 pages and users posted this claim on Facebook, which were flagged by Claim Check. A reader also emailed the claim to Rappler for verification.
Complete details:

Multiple Facebook users and pages claimed that Vice President Leni Robredo donated chicharon to Typhoon Ulysses victims in San Mateo, Rizal.

The posts contained screenshots of a comment by a certain Rossica Louie Hendeve, who claimed that Robredo gave them chicharon. Hendeve also claimed that Robredo brought along members of the media with her.

The posts circulated as early as Saturday, November 14. At the right side of the graphic was a photo of Robredo holding a huge bag of fish crackers, which are different from chicharon.

This is false. Robredo had not yet visited San Mateo when the posts first cropped up on social media. The Vice President also repeatedly denied donating fried pork rinds to victims of Typhoon Ulysses.

In a post on her official social media account on Sunday, November 15, Robredo said the Office of the Vice President (OVP) gave hot meals, food packs, hygiene kits, beds, and blankets, among other things, to victims of Typhoon Ulysses in parts of the country. These were donated through the Angat Buhay program of the OVP.

Using reverse image search, Rappler found that the photo of Robredo holding a bag of fish crackers used in the posts was posted by the Vice President herself on her official Twitter account on Friday, November 13. But the bag of snacks was for her team, not for typhoon victims.

Robredo’s tweet read: “Speaking engagement in the morning, and the rest of the day ahead visiting communities. Nagbaon na kami para sure (We brought food with us to be sure).”

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Despite Hendeve’s claim that Robredo brought along members of the media with her, there is also no report from any legitimate news organization about Robredo supposedly giving away chicharon to typhoon victims in San Mateo. There are, however, reports from Inquirer.net and Manila Bulletin about Robredo’s call to report Hendeve’s comment for containing false information.

Robredo repeatedly debunked Hendeve’s claim on her personal account here and here, both posted last Sunday.

As of writing, user Rossica Louie Hendeve is no longer available on Facebook.

Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool that identifies potentially false posts spread on the platform, flagged at least 49 posts that contained this claim. A reader also emailed the same claim to Rappler for verification.

This is not the first time Robredo’s relief efforts became a target of disinformation. In January, Rappler debunked claims that said she gave “only 5 pieces of pandesal and bottled water” to the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.

On Tuesday, November 17, Robredo also became President Rodrigo Duterte’s target of false claims, sexist innuendos, and threats related to the 2022 elections during his weekly televised address.

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Duterte wrongly accused Robredo of being “dishonest” and “incapable of truth” for supposedly claiming he was missing in action during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses – but the Vice President never made such remarks herself. – Pauline Macaraeg/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.