VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FAKE Bam Aquino statement on food waste resurfaces on social media

A viral Facebook post has resurrected a fake quote attributed to reelectionist Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino about serving “leftover food” to the poor.

On Feb. 10, pro-Duterte page The Best Ka Tatay Digong posted a “throwback” image with a fake quote from Aquino, superimposed with the text “GAGO!” or “stupid”:

Mga tira-tirang pagkain sa mga restaurant ang dapat ibigay sa mga mahihirap – Bam Aquino

(It is leftover food from restaurants that should be given to the poor — Bam Aquino)”

It was juxtaposed with a statement card copied from Sen. Richard Gordon’s verified Facebook page posted on August 8, 2016, where he expressed support for Aquino’s bill. But the two images were laid out misleadingly, as if to praise Gordon and malign Aquino.

A reverse image search shows Aquino’s fake statement card began making the rounds on social media early in 2018. No news reports or official records show that Aquino issued the statement.

The senator’s office confirmed to VERA Files that the quote is fabricated, saying it is “one of the first fake quotes” that have been attributed to the senator as early as 2016.

Aquino proposed Senate Bill No. 357 or the Zero Waste Food Bill, which hopes to reduce food wastage and address hunger by mandating restaurants and supermarkets to give unserved food — not leftovers — to food banks for distribution to poor Filipino families.

The measure, which remains pending in the health and demography committee since August 2016, has been falsely branded by critics as the “pagpag” bill. “Pagpag” is the colloquial Filipino term for recycled food from garbage. The senator has clarified this in 2016.

Gordon has pledged support for Aquino’s bill, as he authored a similar anti-hunger measure passed during the 14th Congress called the Food Donation Act of 2009:

Nais ko magpasalamat kay Sen. Bam Aquino at muling minulat ang kamalayan ng mga nakakaangat ukol sa isang paraan kung paano makatulong at maibsan ang kahirapan ng ating mga kapuspalad na kapatid (I wish to thank Sen. Bam Aquino for once again bringing into the attention of privileged people how they can help uplift our poor brothers and sisters).”

The fake post by The Best Ka Tatay Digong has had about 6,000 interactions and could have reached more than 163,000 people.

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

(VERA Files is a part of, a collaborative fact-checking initiative by the academe and the media for the 2019 Philippine midterm elections.)