Claim: Former vice president Leni Robredo opposed making the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) operational again, mistaking a nuclear power source for a nuclear bomb.
Why we fact-checked this: The photo posted has 2,000 reactions, 762 comments, and 130 shares as of writing.
The bottom line: Robredo did not say the remarks attributed to her on the issue of reopening the BNPP. The only recent comments she made on the matter were during the 2022 presidential election campaign, when she said she was open to using nuclear energy as a source of power, but disapproved of reopening the BNPP due to safety concerns.
Safety issues: In 2016, Kelvin Rodolfo, a Filipino scientist, disapproved of the Duterte administration’s plan to activate the BNPP because the power plant sits on an active earthquake fault which runs from Pampanga to Natib volcano. The volcano is situated 7.5 kilometers from the site.
Meanwhile, Fabian Dayrit of the National Academy of Science and Technology, raised concerns about the nuclear waste disposal of BNPP in 2020, citing other countries having problems about their disposal, too.
Satire only? The photo card circulating on Facebook was a cropped photo posted on July 17 by Philippine Daily New Society, which claims to be a satirical page. “Satire,” as a genre, has been abused by state-sponsored propaganda networks that have routinely labeled their pages as such, while sowing massive amounts of intrigue and false claims against critics or opposition figures. One frequently used type of claim often passed off as jokes in relation to Robredo, are misquotes that made her appear stupid. This type of claim is typical of gendered disinformation used against women leaders, who are often projected as devious, stupid, weak, or sexual and immoral to “paint them as untrustworthy and unfit to hold positions of power, a public profile or influence within society,” according to a study by Demos, a London-based think tank.
– Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com
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