VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Photo of Robredo, Pangilinan posing inside cemetery FAKE


A Facebook (FB) page and group published an altered photo of Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan campaigning inside a cemetery.

On May 2 and 3, an FB page and a group posted the manipulated graphic, showing the tandem surrounded by graves and their campaign posters while doing the finger heart hand sign.

One of the captions read: “Bantayan ang balota sa Mayo 9 baka isali sa balota ang mga pangalan ng mga patay.. BBM AT LENI huwag isali ang mga pangalan ng mga bangkay (Watch over the ballots on May 9, they might include the names of the dead.. BBM AND LENI, don’t include the names of the dead).”

It is fake. The original cemetery photo is over four years old, taken from The Guardian’s 2018 feature article on a community living inside the Manila North Cemetery.

The photo showed rows of stacked graves and did not feature the two political figures or their campaign posters.

Meanwhile, the image of Robredo and Pangilinan was taken during the tandem’s campaign rally in Ormoc City last March. Robredo’s official FB page on March 29 published a similar image where the two had on the same clothes and masks, and with similar poses.

Some netizens who commented believed the image and criticized the Leni-Kiko tandem for hanging their campaign posters on some graves. Others warned that the two might have “zombie voters” on election day.

The FB posts surfaced a week before Filipinos troop to polling centers, with Robredo among 10 seeking the presidency.
FB page Juan Dirigma (created on July 12, 2018) and FB group CEBU CITY (Oct. 6, 2011) published the manipulated image and have collectively garnered more than 1,030 reactions, 220 comments, and 130 shares.

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