VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Ayala Corp. president DID NOT shame Robredo in press briefing

A Youtube channel that regularly publishes disinformation made yet another false claim, saying Ayala Corporation president Fernando Zobel de Ayala defended President Rodrigo Duterte and shamed Vice President Leni Robredo and her supporters.

Showbiz Fanaticz’s claim is false. In the video it offered as proof of Zobel de Ayala’s statement — a Jan. 4 press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque — the business executive did not mention Robredo nor any other “opposition” member.

The Jan. 7 video bore the untrue headline: "ITO ANG NAKAKAGULAT: Businessman Zobel de Ayala, IPINAHIYA si VP LENI at KUMAMPI NA kay Pres DUTERTE (This is shocking: Businessman Zobel de Ayala shamed VP Leni, took Pres. Duterte’s side).”

Showbiz Fanaticz’s voiceover in the first two minutes of the video also made concocted claims that Zobel de Ayala “bravely” spoke out against the opposition, including Robredo, and reminded the public that criticisms do not help during a crisis.

The business leader said no such thing during his nine-minute exchange with Roque and members of the press. Showbiz Fanaticz showed only four minutes of the clip, where he spoke about Ayala Corporation’s efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccines.

“We’ve decided to order 450,000 vaccines of AstraZeneca. The total donation that we would be giving to [the] government would be around P120 million,” he said during the online press briefing.

The business tycoon also promised to help with the logistics of vaccine distribution. As of December 2020, Ayala Corporation, he said, has provided P12.7 billion worth of COVID-19 related assistance to the government.

The false video’s thumbnail is a composite of three pictures: a February 2019 collage of Robredo and Duterte by Politiko, a Nov. 19, 2017 photo of Duterte and Zobel de Ayala’s brother, Jaime, and a screengrab from Asian Philanthropy Circle’s Dec. 1, 2016 interview with Zobel de Ayala.

The spurious video, which a reader requested VERA Files Fact Check to look into, emerged three days after Zobel de Ayala took part in the virtual briefing for Malacañang reporters.

Showbiz Fanaticz’s video has been viewed more than 205,000 times on YouTube. It was also embedded by website fuziwara.com in a post that could have reached over 270,000 people, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.

A copy of the video reuploaded by Facebook (FB) page PH News TV has also gained traction on the social media platform, getting nearly 20,000 interactions and possibly reaching 2.65 million people.

Its top three traffic generators include FB groups MARCOS PA RIN, SARA DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT & R. DUTERTE FOR VICE PRESIDENT 2022, and SARA DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT AND R. DUTERTE FOR VICE PRESIDENT 2022.

Showbiz Fanaticz was created in November 2017, fuziwara.com in November 2019, and PH News TV in November 2020.


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

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