VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizens recycle MANIPULATED Toni Gonzaga quote card saying she got P20M for ‘Duterte campaign’

A graphic first published last May that has actress Toni Gonzaga saying she was paid P20 million to endorse President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 elections has resurfaced this month. This is fake.

The fabricated quote card, dated May 11, 2020, is a manipulated version of a post that day by ABS-CBN News’ official Facebook (FB) page. Gonzaga’s original quote is about how she deals with bashers, saying she “chooses battles wisely” for her peace of mind.

Beginning May 13, a photoshopped version of that graphic made the rounds on social media. Apart from the claim Gonzaga got paid for endorsing Duterte, the quote card said the ABS-CBN talent would leave the network "immediately" if she got paid higher, like Margaux “Mocha” Uson, a known Duterte supporter and now Overseas Workers Welfare Administration deputy administrator.

A cursory search does not show any records substantiating this claim.

The earliest traceable copy of the spurious FB post surfaced eight days after the National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN to stop operations because its legislative franchise has expired. A House committee denied the company's bid for a fresh license last July 10.

At least two more netizens and two FB pages—Confeermed and PEOPLE POWER—re-uploaded the fake quote card on Aug. 10 and 11.

Gonzaga, who attended in May 2019 a “thanksgiving gathering” in Malacanang hosted by Duterte and his common-law wife Honeylet Avancenafor artists who support the President,” received criticism from netizens this July regarding a statement she made about her network's shutdown.

The fake quote cards have collectively been shared over 630 times and could have reached at least 17,000 people, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.

FB pages Confeermed and PEOPLE POWER were created on July 29, 2015 and Sept. 20, 2016, respectively.

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

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