VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Photo of Joey De Leon with Leni Robredo bag is FAKE

A doctored photo of comedian Joey De Leon carrying a yellow bag with an illustration of Vice President Leni Robredo and the text “LENI 2022” has resurfaced this month, fooling netizens into thinking that he has endorsed her bid for the presidency.

The image is fake. Its original, unedited copy is traceable to the official Facebook (FB) page of noontime show Eat Bulaga, published on Nov. 14, 2013 with a caption: “Si Henyo Master Joey de Leon po ang may ari ng bag. Good evening mga Dabarkads!

The bag originally sported a print showing a man wearing a mohawk.

De Leon has also made it clear in an Oct. 20 post on his Instagram and Twitter accounts that he will endorse the vice presidential candidacy of his longtime friend Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, whose running mate for president is Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

The manipulated image first surfaced in February and was debunked by netizens. It was revived this month after local support for Robredo’s presidential bid became more visible.

On Oct. 19, an FB user published the doctored image on public group Leni Robredo for 2022 President Movement – Sulong Pilipinas!, and praised De Leon for demonstrating “the true meaning of patriotism.”

Some Robredo supporters in the group, which has 25,000 members, also thanked the comedian in the post’s comment section. One user said De Leon did a “nice move,” while another lauded him for being “an example for the masses in choosing the right candidate.”

It gained over 907 reactions and 77 shares before it was taken down the following day. The fake photo has since been re-uploaded by other netizens and FB pages.

(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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