VERA FILES FACT CHECK: MISLEADING video paints Locsin’s 2019 ‘boba’ remark vs Robredo as recent

Another video posted in the YouTube channel and Facebook (FB) page of serial disinformation peddler Showbiz Fanaticz is misleading. It claims Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. recently called Vice President Leni Robredo “boba (stupid)” and “mandaraya (cheat).”

The four-and-a-half-minute-long video was titled “JUST IN: Teddy Locsin Jr. Tinawag na BOBA si ROBREDO| “WAG KANG MAGYABANG, IKAW ANG MANDARAYA (Teddy Locsin Jr. called Robredo stupid | ‘Don’t brag, you’re the cheat’)!” and was uploaded on Feb. 22, six days after the Supreme Court junked the entire electoral protest of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that challenged Robredo’s win in 2016.

Locsin did call Robredo “stupid” — but it happened back in 2019, not recently, contrary to Showbiz Fanaticz’s headline. The comment had nothing to do with the poll protest. He has also not called the vice president a “cheat.”

On June 23, 2019, Robredo described the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)’s move then to cancel courtesy diplomatic passports as a “knee-jerk reaction.” At the time, Locsin’s predecessor Albert del Rosario was barred from entering Hong Kong due to undisclosed reasons.

In reaction to Robredo’s remark, Locsin called the vice president “boba” in a tweet the next day, which he immediately followed up with an apology.

That Locsin’s remark was made a year and a half ago was mentioned only in the last minute of Showbiz Fanaticz’s video. The “JUST IN” in the video’s title and the timing of its publication made it appear that the remark was connected to the verdict on Marcos’ poll protest.

This Feb. 21, Locsin did make a statement having to do with the electoral case.

A Manila Bulletin article that day, which was read in its entirety in the misleading video, reported Robredo as saying that Marcos’ refusal to accept defeat “destroys democratic institutions” of the country.

Locsin tweeted the Bulletin story and said, “Of course not. If you felt you had been cheated you should fight back to prove it because it is your democratic duty to protect the electoral process even from suspicion.”

The video’s copy on Youtube has already been viewed over 95,000 times, and received more than 1,000 FB interactions. Meanwhile, its reupload on FB already has 174,000 views and over 12,700 interactions.

It could have reached around 832,800 internet users, with traffic largely coming from Showbiz Fanaticz’s FB page itself, as well as page Rodrigo Duterte Support Page by Dr Eli Alegado FRCPC, FACP and group CEBU for SARA DUTERTE.

Showbiz Fanaticz’s Youtube channel was created in November 2017, while its FB page was made in March 2018.

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