VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Pacquiao quote telling the public to ‘not vote’ for Duterte allies FAKE

A statement attributed to Sen. Manny Pacquiao asking voters not to support allies of President Rodrigo Duterte in next year’s elections is fabricated. This fake quote card is being carried by at least 40 posts on Facebook (FB).

No official record or report from legitimate sources bears the supposed quote from Pacquiao, which reads: “Sa susunod Na election Wag ninyong iboboto ang Ang (sic) mga kaalyado ni Duterte kung Ayaw ninyong Malubog sa Utang (In the next election, do not vote for allies of Duterte if you don’t want to be buried in debt)!”

Reverse image search revealed that the unaltered copy of the quote card was originally published by ABS-CBN News in February last year. It bore a comment made by Pacquaio during a Senate committee hearing on the renewal of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise. Then and now, the senator has made no mention of withholding support for Duterte allies.

The fake quote card’s earliest retrievable copy could be traced to a March 1 post in public group TNP Media.

Meanwhile, its copy with the most number of engagements got 120 reactions, 32 comments, and 239 shares from netizens. It was published just four days after the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) — where Pacquiao serves as acting president — held its National Council Assembly on May 31.

The senator initially told his partymates to “ignore” the call for the gathering, but the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson later stated that it was President Duterte, the party chairman, who ordered the convening of the national assembly.

It was during the assembly that a resolution was adopted “to convince” Duterte to run as the vice presidential bet of PDP-Laban in the 2022 polls. A similar resolution was signed by some members of the party in March, but was later announced by Pacquiao to be null — hinting tension within the political group.

But in a June 3 press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque named Pacquiao as one of Duterte’s “options” to be his successor, alongside presidential daughter Sara Duterte, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Sen. Bong Go.

In March, Pacquiao also made headlines when he described Duterte’s way of dealing with China over the West Philippine Sea controversy as “lacking”. Just last June 8, the president responded to this by telling the senator to “study first” before making a statement related to foreign policy.

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