VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Gina Linetti is NOT an Italian senator, nor did she praise Duterte

A character from another fictional sitcom is being misrepresented by hoax producers as an authority figure praising President Rodrigo Duterte.

The widely-shared, fake graphic on Facebook (FB) claims “Gina Linetti,” falsely labeled as an Italian lawmaker, said this: “President Duterte is one of the best politicians I have ever met. Filipinos are very lucky to have him as their leader.” It’s fake.

Linetti is not a member of the Senate of the Italian Republic. She is a civilian administrator in the hit American police comedy show Brooklyn Nine-Nine played by American actress and comedian Chelsea Peretti.

There are no records of Peretti, as herself nor as Linetti, ever making the statement, based on a cursory search and a look at her social media channels. The concocted statement was superimposed on a Fox Image Collection photo of Peretti on Getty Images from March 2015.

On the lower left hand corner of the fake graphic is a logo that reads “Boom Buhay’s Brain Fart.” A search on FB traces this to a Sept. 11 post by a netizen who, according to his bio, manages the entertainment FB page Brain Fart PH, which publishes a variety of posts including memes about Duterte supporters.

While humorous in nature, the fake photo has been republished in other social media accounts such as the pro-administration FB group HUGPONG NG PAGBABAGO, receiving mixed reactions from netizens. Some believed it to be true and even thanked the “Italian senator.” A reader has also asked VERA Files Fact Check to determine the veracity of the post.

The version uploaded in HUGPONG NG PAGBABAGO on Sept. 19 has received over 6,700 interactions. Among its top traffic generators are FB groups Go Bong Go and RUN! INDAY SARA RUN! FOR PRESIDENT 2022 (MISDIM).

It circulated the same time the European Parliament threatened to implement trade sanctions to protest against the Philippines’ “deteriorating human rights situation.”

HUGPONG NG PAGBABAGO was created in October 2015.

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