Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Robredo blames 1947 war misdate on hacked account


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FALSE: Robredo blames 1947 war misdate on hacked account
The Vice President didn't excuse her citing the date of World War II by claiming her social media account was hacked. She committed the gaffe on her radio program.
At a glance:
  • Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo said that her account was hacked when she wrongly cited 1947 as the date of World War II. 
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Robredo did not say she was hacked to excuse her blunder. Her war date gaffe was not even in a social media post, but was made during a radio program.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in the Facebook group “BBM FOR PRESIDENT 2022… The REturn of the Marcoses” on February 2. Former broadcaster Jay Sonza posted the same claim on February 3 in his Facebook account. Both posts have garnered a combined 10,800 reactions, 2,131 comments, and 581 shares as of writing.
Complete details:

A post made in the Facebook group “BBM FOR PRESIDENT 2022… The REturn of the Marcoses” on February 2 showed a photo of Vice President Leni Robredo along with a quote saying her account was hacked. 

The quote said, “Iyong… iyong tungkol sa 1947 na giyera, actually na-hacked po account ko!” (What I said about the 1947 war, actually my account was hacked!) 

On February 3, former broadcaster Jay Sonza posted on his Facebook page, reiterating the same claim. He said: “Anong ‘na-hack account ko’ ang pinagsasabi mo, Leonor. Eh, may tape-on-air (TOA) iyong radio station at mandatory library file ang PMO (Privatization and Management Office).” (What are you talking about, “my account was hacked,” Leonor? Your radio station has a tape-on-air (TOA) and a mandatory library file at the PMO [Privatization and Management Office.])

Sonza also said “1947” to indicate he was talking about Robredo’s World War II date gaffe. 

The posts were referring to episode 195 of Robredo’s program, aired on January 31, where she said: “In fact, iyong… ang sinasabi sa parang historical na GDP (gross domestic product) natin, ito na iyong worst natin, ito na iyong worst since 1947. Ito iyong worst since 1947 – iyon, giyera iyon. Giyera iyong panahon na iyon. Pero ito na iyong worst.”

(In fact, the… it is said that in our historical GDP [gross domestic product], this period is the worst, this is the worst since 1947. This is the worst since 1947 – that was during a war. There was a war during that time. But this period is the worst.)

Robredo was referring to World War II, which involved the Philippines and ended in 1945. 

As of writing, the post in the group “BBM FOR PRESIDENT 2022… The REturn of the Marcoses” has received 2,500 reactions, 1,500 comments, and 290 shares, while Sonza’s post has garnered 8,300 reactions, 631 comments, and 291 shares as of writing. The comments in the posts are using the fake quote to call the Vice President “stupid.”

This claim is false.

There are no reports, official transcripts, or social media posts of Robredo saying she committed the mistake due to her account being hacked. She also did not commit the mistake on social media, but on her weekly radio program BISErbisyong Leni.

The Office of the Vice President Media Affairs also denied the claim in an email to Rappler. They said Robredo never said the quote on a supposedly hacked account nor posted anything similar on social media platforms. 

On her Facebook page on February 8, Robredo also shared a screenshot of a Twitter post by a certain Tonya Achas Wiggins containing the false quote. The Vice President called it “fake news.” 

Rappler has fact-checked several claims about Leni Robredo before, such as that she said she is ready to become president and that she donated chicharon to typhoon victims in San Mateo, Rizal. We have also fact-checked multiple claims by Sonza, including his claim that the Philippines tops “most peaceful countries” list. – Isabelle Mae Amora/Rappler.com

This article was written by a volunteer of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program, a 5-week exclusive and hands-on training on detecting, investigating, and verifying online misinformation and disinformation.

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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