VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Multiple FB pages, groups MISLEAD with old Mar Roxas pic

At least 43 pages and public groups on Facebook (FB) carried an identical misleading post featuring a nine-year-old photo of senate hopeful Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

The old picture of Roxas driving a “padyak” or pedicab was published, shared and re-shared in March 2018 and between March 8 and March 19 of this year.

Crowdtangle, a social media monitoring tool, shows at least five FB pages were the main sources of these posts:

  • Snap, Don’t Me and Time News Information, which gave the image this same caption:

“Lahat na lang gagawin, para lang mag-mukhang mahirap. Mar Roxas deaperado (sic) na ([He] will do everything to look poor. Mar Roxas is desperate).”

  • Think The Brighter Side of Life, which wrote:

“Tingnan mo ang pakulo ni Mar, malapit na kasi eleksyon (Look at Mar’s gimmick because it’s almost election [day]).

  • Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, which paraphrased Roxas’ 2016 presidential campaign tagline:

Trabaho lang, walang drama.” – Mar Roxas
Ano masasabi nyo dito mga boss??? #share

The University of the Philippines Journalism Department had debunked one of the posts, emphasizing, “the photo was taken during the run up to the 2010 elections, not 2019 as the Facebook post suggests.” (See: Facebook post misleads with old Mar Roxas photo)

A reverse image search shows Roxas’ photo was taken in 2009, in Naga City, Camarines Sur before he attended “a forum of an urban poor group.” The late Interior Secretary and Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo hosted the event. Robredo endorsed Roxas’ 2010 presidential bid before the latter withdrew from the race.

An article by Vox Bikol, an English-language newspaper published in Naga City, places the date Roxas rode the padyak at Aug. 15, 2009:

NAGA CITY- A welcome competitor put ‘padyak’ (pedicab) drivers in Naga City on a day-off last August 15. Along with four kids and a city councilor, Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas drove a pedicab through the streets of downtown Naga, to the surprise and delight of curious onlookers, some of which exclaimed, “Nagpapadyak talaga si Kuya Mar! (Kuya Mar really knows how to drive pedicab!)

On Sept. 1, 2009, Roxas gave way to then Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and ran as his vice-president under the Liberal Party in the 2010 presidential elections. Roxas lost.

The misleading posts could have reached more than 4 million people on Facebook.

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

(VERA Files is a part of, a collaborative fact-checking initiative by the academe and the media for the 2019 Philippine midterm elections.)