VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB pages, netizens spread FAKE anti-Marcos quote card of Laoag mayor

Several Facebook (FB) pages and netizens are sharing a fake graphic of Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon saying he would not endorse his relatives in the upcoming 2022 elections.

Citing the newspaper Daily Tribune, the fabricated graphic, which was published on Dec. 13, read: “It’s ironic that my cousins – Bongbong and Imee are very fond of using the word ‘unity,’ when they themselves can not unite our family. Unity only applies to them when you bow down to their wishes and caprices. I can not by principle endorse Bongbong as a President nor his son Sandro as Congressman for the 1st District of Ilocos Norte. They are both fraudsters, who do not possess intellectual nor leadership skills. They do not know hard work, that’s why they never achieved anything in their lives.”

No official record or news report reflects such a remark by Keon.

The bogus quote card was denounced by the official FB page of the city government of Laoag on the same day it spread, saying the quote was “concocted and misleading” and that Keon did not have an interview with the Daily Tribune.

The Daily Tribune also debunked the false graphic a couple of hours later, saying the quote card was not the work of the publication. It also thanked its readers for pointing out the falsehood.

In October, the Tribune reported that Keon endorsed Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go’s bid for the vice presidency and praised him for being one of the most “receptive, accommodating and accessible” public officials he has met. Go has since withdrawn his bid for the vice presidency and the presidency.

A Dec. 14 Rappler report also quoted Keon as describing the circulating quote card to be “fake” and that he believes his cousin, presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., would make a good president.

The fake graphic started surfacing the same day the Commission on Elections’ Second Division said it denied and would deny all interventions filed related to a petition seeking to cancel Bongbong’s certificate of candidacy for president, in order to resolve the main petition without delay.

The fake quote card, which could have reached more than 135,000 netizens, was published by several FB accounts including the pages No to Marcos forever in politics (created on June 17, 2014), Pilipinas Kong Mahal (May 3, 2015), and FACTS Against Ignorance (May 20, 2016) and two netizens whose posts garnered more than 930 reactions, 165 comments and 355 shares. The graphic also circulated on Twitter.

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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.)