VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FAKE quote of Robredo on managing traffic


A fabricated quote attributed to Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo was framed alongside a real quote from senator and fellow presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao to insinuate that she made a foolish suggestion to resolve traffic in the country.

The concocted statement of Robredo that figured in multiple Facebook posts read: “Sa tingin ko mas importante na lahat ng tao mayroong sasakyan para mas mabilis ang pagbiyahe.”

(I think it’s more important that all people have vehicles to speed up travel.)

There are no news reports of Robredo saying this. Contrary to the fake claim, she had in fact previously said that she would shift away from building “car-centric” infrastructure and focus instead on building bus rapid transit systems, protected bike lanes, and better railways.

“We will prioritize building a nationwide active transport infrastructure, starting with the most traffic-congested areas. Our goal is to make roads for people, not cars,” Robredo said in a Nov. 18, 2021 virtual expo of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The fake quote card carried this question on solving bumper-to-bumper traffic: “Bumper na bumper na traffic anong solusyon (Bumper-to-bumper traffic, what’s the solution?)

The graphic took off on one issue discussed during the CNN Philippines presidential debate on Feb. 27 when presidential candidates were asked how they can justify infrastructure spending to Filipinos.

Robredo said the country’s mass transport system is inconvenient and that the roads are not ready for people who travel by motorcycles, bikes, or walking. She added:

Kailangan yung gobyerno magbuhos ng maraming pera para sa active transport para siguraduhin na yung mga kababayan natin merong nasasakyan sa mababang halaga para nakakakapunta sila sa trabaho, nakakauwi sila sa kanilang mga pamilya.”

(The government should allot a lot of money to ensure that our fellow citizens have available transport at low cost so they could go to work and go home to their families.)

And here’s Pacquiao’s response, which matches the statement carried in the fake quote card:

Napakaimportante po talaga na dagdagan po natin yung skyways natin, ma (de)congest po, mabawasan ang traffic natin.”

(It’s very important to build more skyways to decongest and reduce our traffic.)

The fabricated quote card was posted on March 1 by FB pages BBM the Nation Builder (created on June 29, 2013) and BBM Sara Worldwide Supporters (created on Oct . 12, 2021), both expressing support for presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The posts got a total of 9,200 interactions.

An earlier version of the made-up graphic had been deleted. It was posted by FB page Supporters of BBM SARA (created on Feb. 4, 2021) on Feb. 28, a day after the CNN PH debate.


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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.)