A graphic circulating on Facebook (FB) falsely claims Vice President Leni Robredo has spent half a billion pesos in campaign ad expenses.
The erroneous image first appeared last December on FB page Tamaraw News, which neither cited its source nor substantiated the claim.
The text in the graphic reads: “GUMASTOS NG KALAHATING BILYONG PISO SA ADVERTISEMENT PERO PAMBILI NG SARDINAS AT BIGAS PARA SA BIKTIMA NG BAGYO HUMIHINGI NG DONASYON ([Robredo] spent half a billion pesos on advertisements but begs for donations to buy sardines and rice for the victims of the typhoon).”
The graphic made the rounds during the time Robredo visited the regions devastated by Typhoon Odette to check the situation on the ground and asked netizens for donations.
There are no official documents, statements or news reports saying the vice president has spent P500 million in campaign ads for this election where she is running for president.
Campaign spending of election candidates is reported in their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) that is submitted in full 30 days after the elections as required by the Section 107 of the Omnibus Election Code.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) published a report more than a month ago detailing the campaign expenses of electoral aspirants on traditional media. The article mentioned that Robredo aired ads worth P120 million from January to September 2021, most of which were spent on radio.
News5, on the other hand, reported last November that Robredo aired ads worth almost P4 million on her FB page from August 2020 to November 2021 based on the data from the FB Ad Library.
As of Jan. 3, Robredo’s official FB page has spent more than P11 million on ads related to social issues, elections or politics, according to the FB Ad Library.
In the 2016 presidential election, several news articles, citing Robredo’s SOCE, stated that she spent P418.66 million for her vice presidential campaign bid. Out of the total amount, P387 million was spent on political ads, according to another PCIJ investigative report.
Apart from FB page Tamaraw News (created on March 18, 2016), the false post was also carried by The Bobomilyas (created on Feb. 22, 2018) and The Good Humans Club (November 2, 2012). It has collectively garnered more than 31,600 reactions, 10,400 comments and 11,000 shares.
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