Facebook page “Metro Headlines” posted a graphic on Saturday, April 10, that falsely attributed a statement to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr as saying that Vice President Leni Robredo is not a loss to the country because she has not done anything for the good of the Philippines.
The graphic compared statements from Robredo and Locsin. The statement attributed to Robredo said that it’s only natural for the public to look for leaders amid crisis, while the statement attributed to Locsin said it would be okay if Robredo dies because she’s not a loss to the country anyway.
Locsin’s supposed full statement read: “Alam mo Leni hindi pwede lumabas si Pres. Duterte baka may masamang mangyari sa kanya. Pwede ikaw lang ang lumabas at okey lang na may mangyari sayo dahil hindi ka naman essential eh. Kung mamatay ka man okey lang dahil hindi ka kawalan sa bansa kasi wala ka namang nagawang matino kundi nga-nga ka lang ng nga-nga.”
(You know, Leni, President Duterte can’t go out because something bad might happen to him. Why don't you go out instead? Anyway, it’s okay if something happens to you because you’re not essential. It’s okay if you die because you have not done anything good for the country.)
Robredo did say the statement in the graphic, but the quotation attributed to Locsin in the graphic is false.
On Sunday, April 11, the official Twitter account of SMNI News Channel said the use of their logo in the false graphic was “unauthorized” and was a “misrepresentation.” The news organization included the original quote card that they released on Friday, April 9, which had a different statement attributed to Locsin.
The original quote from Locsin was a reply to Robredo: “Well, Ma’am, there he is, working; and he goes through every page of all the papers; a habit from his days as a litigation lawyer/prosecution. Even I just glance.”
On his verified Twitter account, Locsin also denied saying the false quote attributed to him. On Monday, April 12, Locsin responded to a tweet asking about the veracity of the quote card from “Metro Headlines.” He said that the graphic “was and is, in fact, FAKE.”
The graphic from “Metro Headlines” has over 1,300 reactions, 364 shares, and 304 comments as of writing. The post included a link to a website, but it only redirected to Lazada, an online shopping platform. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com
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