VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post claiming Robredo's hometown 'filled with shabu' uses FAKE photos

Website used fake photos in a post claiming that Vice President Leni Robredo's hometown Naga City is riddled with the illegal drug methamphetamine, or “shabu.”

The post bore the headline:

"Kumpirmado! Napakaraming Shabu sa Balwarte ni Leni Robredo nabulgar sa Publiko (Confirmed! Tons of shabu in Leni Robredo's hometown revealed to the public)."

It carried a a video whose thumbnail showed a photo of Robredo smiling; another photo showing bags of what seem to be shabu; and the statement, "Yes, there are tons of shabu in Naga" in Filipino.

A Google reverse image search shows that the second image was not taken in Naga, but is actually a Jan. 26, 2018 Bombo Radyo photo of a P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China confiscated in a Valenzuela City warehouse.

Robredo's photo was grabbed from a Jan. 30, 2018 tweet when she paid a surprise visit to the Ateneo de Naga University College of Law. posted the story the same day Robredo disputed the Philippine National Police's claim that Naga had the fifth highest crime volume among cities in the country.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte tagged Naga a shabu “hotbed,” a claim Naga officials said was made without factual basis.

Social media traffic to the story, which could have reached 933,000 people, largely came from the Facebook pages Dugong Maharlika, Duterte and Marcos Unite Supporters, and Duterte News Media. was created May 4; Youtube channel TOKHANG TV, which uploaded video with the misleading thumbnail, in November 2016.

(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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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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