VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Another video on Robredo ‘going behind bars’ over COA flags MISLEADS

A Facebook post revived reports about state auditors flagging last month the Office of the Vice President (OVP) under Leni Robredo and falsely implied that she is heading to prison.

Published on Aug. 14, the post carried a video with a headline that read:

MATINDI TO! LENLEN IYAK TINULDU KAN na DIGONG Pres MARCOS EBDENSYA NILABAS na HEMAS REGAS (sic) (This is intense! Lenlen cries, she’s done for | Digong Pres Marcos released evidence | (going) behind bars)!”

Robredo was not handed a prison sentence.

Contents of the video did not support the implication in the headline, which featured an excerpt from a July 20 vlog by pro-Duterte YouTube vlogger Badong Aratiles.

He read and interpreted two CNN Philippines reports from July 18 about the Commission on Audit (COA) flagging Robredo’s OVP for hiring a private lawyer as a legal consultant and realigning funds intended for research to COVID-related projects instead.

Additionally, Badong Aratiles claimed that COA questioned the OVP over its purchase of antigen test kits when Robredo’s office “was not a hospital.” This also misleads.

In its 2021 audit report, COA only pointed out that the OVP was slow to use and distribute the test kits. They were intended for the OVP’s mobile COVID-19 testing center called Swab Cab, and for distribution to local government units. COA also noted that some kits were used for OVP employees, which state auditors said was not included in the stated plan.

A similar video that implied Robredo was getting imprisoned over COA’s flags was debunked earlier this month. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Videos MISLEAD, imply Robredo will be jailed over COA flagging)

FB page Bongbong Marcos Info News’ video got over 68,500 interactions, while its original version posted by YouTube channel BALITAAN NG BAYAN TV on Aug. 13 got over 78,000 views. Badong Aratiles’ video garnered over 106,870 views. 

The misleading video was published a day after COA again made headlines for calling attention to questionable purchases and delayed distribution of millions’ worth of laptops and tablets by other government agencies.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)