VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte DID NOT say he will close poll precincts if Robredo runs for president

A quote card where President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to shut down voting precincts should Vice President Leni Robredo run for president in the 2022 elections is circulating on social media. It’s fake.

Duterte, while openly critical of Robredo, has said no such thing in his speeches. Neither has he been quoted by media as making those remarks.

Several Facebook (FB) pages and groups uploaded the fabricated graphic from March 13 to 15 and a reader asked VERA Files Fact Check to verify it.

The quote card has photos of Duterte and Robredo and this concocted statement: “I am telling you, kapag ipilit mo na tumakbo sa 2022 (if you insist on running in 2022), I will order all voting precints to be shut down (sic).”

It also spuriously shows the president saying Robredo is “not fit” for the job because she will end up drowning the country in debt, and that he will instead endorse his aide-turned-senator Christopher “Bong” Go and that she “can’t do anything about it.”

Duterte recently said the second-in-command was unqualified to vie for the presidency, and on another occasion, referred in jest to Go as president.

During a national address on Feb. 15, the president said Robredo was “not really qualified to run for president,” after the vice president likened to “extortion” his demand for the United States to pay the Philippines for the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Back in 2018, he said he doubted whether she “can ever be ready to govern a country” due to “incompetence.”

Meanwhile, in a March 11 speech, Duterte revealed that Go said he wants to run for president. The senator told that the president’s pronouncement was only a joke.

Five days earlier, Duterte called the senator “president” in a speech.

The fake graphic appeared four days after Duterte said Robredo should “just maybe shut up” after she made a comment about the Chinese-donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. It was first posted by FB page Confeermed, garnering nearly 375 reactions, 75 comments, and 225 shares. The page has published other fake quote cards.

The concocted card was reuploaded by at least five other netizens, and the FB pages Laban para sa bayan and LODI - IDOL Liberal. Confeermed was created in July 2015, LODI - IDOL Liberal in October 2017, and Laban para sa bayan in August 2011.

(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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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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