VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Broadcaster Anthony Taberna DID NOT call Robredo ‘stupid’

Facebook (FB) page PH Zone posted on Jan. 24 a video wrongly claiming that former ABS-CBN broadcast journalist Anthony “Ka Tunying” Taberna had called Vice President Leni Robredo “boba (stupid woman).”

“BREAKING NEWS NGAYON (today)! ABSCBN ANTHONY TABERNA NAGISING SA KATOTOHANAN TINAWAG NA BOBA SI LENI ROBREDO (ABS-CBN’s Anthony Taberna woke up to the truth, called Leni Robredo a stupid woman),” its headline read.

This is false. For its 12-minute video, PH Zone took a few clips from Taberna’s 21-minute Jan. 19 FB Live on his official account. While the DZRH radio commentator did mention Robredo in the livestream, he made no such derogatory remark against her.

Taberna’s topic for most of his video was the Skyway 3 project recently inaugurated by President Rodrigo Duterte. He also briefly talked about the critics of the Department of National Defense (DND)’s abrogation of an accord with the University of the Philippines (UP).

He said: “Alam ko galit kayo sa administrasyon tungkol doon, lalo na nga iyong mga taga-UP community, iyong mga politiko. Halimbawa si Vice President Leni Robredo, Kiko Pangilinan (I know you’re angry at the administration because of [the accord], especially the UP community, the politicians. For example Vice President Leni Robredo, Kiko Pangilinan).”

He continued to express his disapproval toward Pangilinan, calling the lawmaker “walang ka-kwenta-kwenta (useless).” He did not mention Robredo again in the video.

Photos of the two opposition leaders were shown for the duration of PH Zone's fake video: a screengrab of Robredo wiping her nose during a 2016 video interview, making it look like she was teary-eyed, and a 2018 picture of Pangilinan.

PH Zone’s video is a re-uploaded and edited version of a Jan. 23 post by YouTube channel Showbiz Fanaticz, which had a slightly different — but likewise misleading — headline. It claimed in its title that Taberna called both Robredo and Pangilinan useless.

The erroneous FB post made the rounds after Robredo released a statement on Jan. 19 denouncing the termination of the 1989 UP-DND accord. Pangilinan also expressed his disagreement with the move in an FB post the day before.

PH Zone’s video got over 18,000 reactions, 1,600 comments and more than 5,500 shares.

The FB page was created on June 22, 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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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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