Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Southern Leyte governor says Robredo visited the province for photo ops

Rappler.com
FALSE: Southern Leyte governor says Robredo visited the province for photo ops
Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado did not say that Leni Robredo only visited the typhoon-stricken province for photo ops
At a glance
  • Claim: Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado had made remarks that Vice President Leni Robredo visited Southern Leyte with a media team following the onslaught of typhoon Odette only for photo ops.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Mercado said Robredo did not bring any relief packs during her visit to Southern Leyte, but he did not say that the presidential aspirant only visited the typhoon-stricken province for photo ops. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: A Facebook video claiming this is making rounds online and has already amassed 6,000 reactions, 1,700 comments, and 423,000 views as of this writing.
Complete details

A video from a Facebook page called “B0ngb0ng Marc0s Supp0rters Info” claimed Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado said Vice President Leni Robredo brought with her a media team and did nothing during her visit to the Odette-devastated province but do photo ops. 

As of writing, the post has garnered more than 16,000 reactions, 1,700 comments, and 423,000 views. 

The claim was based on Mercado’s interview on December 21 with veteran radio commentator Anthony “Ka Tunying” Taberna on the latter’s show on DZRH called “Dos Por Dos.”

A TikTok video posted by user @lizdeloysreyes3 shows parts of Mercado’s interview with Taberna on his radio show with Gerry Baja. But the Southern Leyte governor did not say the presidential aspirant only went to the province for photo ops in the said interview. The said video has since made rounds online. 

In the said interview, Taberna asked Mercado if Robredo had also provided aid for the victims of Typhoon Odette in Southern Leyte after the governor revealed that Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. donated P2 million in cash apart from the relief packs he would be providing them in the coming weeks.

Although Mercado said Robredo did not leave any money or relief goods after the presidential aspirant visited the province, he also made it clear that the Vice President will still be providing aid to the typhoon victims. 

“The Vice President also came here and said she would help us,” Mercado said in Filipino. Taberna then asked Mercado, also in Filipino: “Did she leave anything for you as well?” To which Mercado replied with: “None. But she promised us she would send us aid.”

“So [Robredo] made a commitment?” Taberna asked. “Yes. That’s what she told us — that she will provide us aid.” 

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post shared by a Southern Leyte-based reporter named Dahlia Abiera Orit during Robredo’s visit to Southern Leyte, she said that the Vice President assured the people of Southern Leyte that relief operations would continue for as long as needed. She also said Robredo’s team stayed in Southern Leyte to assess the situation.

Earlier, Rappler also fact-checked a claim saying Robredo did not give aid to Odette victims in Bohol. Lance Lim/Rappler.com

Lance Lim is a Visayas-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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