Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Robredo’s quote on darkness, fishermen

FALSE: Robredo’s quote on darkness, fishermen
The fabricated quote mixes part of Robredo's with something the Vice President did not say
At a glance
  • Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo said, “Nababalot ng kadiliman iyong nakikita natin, bakit kailangan mangisda sa karagatan?” (What we see is shrouded in darkness, why should we fish in the ocean?)
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: The fabricated quote mixes part of a statement by Robredo with something the Vice President did not say.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook post sharing this and other fabricated statements has gained over 13,000 interactions and 46,000 shares. 
Complete details

On Wednesday, October 27, the Facebook page “BUSET” published a series of quote cards featuring Vice President Leni Robredo.

In one of these photos, Robredo’s picture is edited together with a statement that says: “Nababalot ng kadiliman iyong nakikita natin, bakit kailangan mangisda sa karagatan?” (What we see is shrouded in darkness, why do we have to fish in the sea?)

The post attributes this remark, along with all the other quotes seen in the album, to Robredo.

Since it was first published, the album has gained over 13,000 interactions, 5,600 comments, and 46,000 shares on Facebook. The particular quote mentioned above gained over 8,800 interactions, 467 comments, and 342 shares. 

This claim is false.

The quote card is fabricated; it combines part of a real quote by Robredo with a made up quote. The Vice President had already identified the made up quote as fabricated in 2019. 

The first half of the quote, which reads: “Nababalot ng kadiliman iyong nakikita natin (What we see is being shrouded in darkness)” was originally part of Robredo’s Day of Valor commemoration speech in April.

In her speech, she likened the fall of Bataan in World War II to the ongoing pandemic situation in the country, because they both signify dark times in Philippine history. She said: “Tulad ng Bataan noon, nababalot tayo ng kadiliman ngayon dahil sa pandemya. Marami na sa atin ang nagsakripisyo, ang nagdusa, ang nawalan. Pero paalala rin ang araw na ito: Walang Pilipinong kailangang maging magiting mag-isa. Sama-sama tayo. Tulong-tulong tayo.”

(Like what happened in Bataan in the past, we are now cloaked in darkness because of the pandemic. Many of us have sacrificed, suffered, and sustained losses. But this day also reminds us: No Filipino has to be heroic on his own. We’re all in this together. Let’s help each other.)

The second half of the quote, which reads, “Bakit kailangan mangisda sa karagatan (Why do we have to fish in the sea)?” is an old, rehashed claim that was already disproven by Robredo in 2019.

The original version of the claim attributes this statement to Robredo: “Ang ating bansa ang napapaligiran ng tubig. Bakit pa sa karagatan nangingisda ang mga mangingisda natin kung saan mapanganib (Our country is surrounded by water. Why do our fisherfolk still have to go fishing in the ocean where it is dangerous)?” However, the claim is false because no such statement can be found from the official records of the Office of the Vice President’s website. 

This false claim was also already covered by different news agencies in 2019. The Manila Bulletin noted that Robredo said she made no such statement, while Philstar’s Interaksyon covered Robredo’s reaction to the claim on social media. She had screen-captured the post and captioned it with: “Fake news again. Dami pang budget (So much budget).”

There are no official reports of Robredo saying the full quote in the “BUSET” album.

Many of the other quote cards in the “BUSET” album are false or misleading. – Danna Gonsalves/Rappler.com

Danna Gonsalves is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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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