VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Posts claiming Atom Araullo is ‘KakamPink’ FALSE


Netizens are using a three-year-old photo of journalist Atom Araullo holding a pink hand banner to wrongly claim he is supporting the presidential candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo.

‘Atom Araullo is a Kakampink’ says one caption. ‘Atom Araullo for Leni’ says another.

While pink is indeed Robredo’s campaign color for the May polls, the photo of Araullo is not at all related to the upcoming Philippine general election.

There is no legitimate report or record of Araullo publicly endorsing any of the ten candidates vying for the country’s top post.

#VERAfied: Posts claiming Atom Araullo is ‘KakamPink’ FALSE

Reverse image search revealed that the circulating photo was first published on Feb. 23, 2019 in both the official Facebook (FB) page and Twitter account of the Gabriela Women’s Party.

Another tweet carried a photo showing people who gathered around the EDSA Shrine in commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

The text on the small pink banner Araullo was holding up read: “#LabananAngAbuso (Fight the abuse).” This is Gabriela’s campaign slogan on ending violence against women and children. The political party specifically champions the empowerment of Filipino women.

In an email to VERA Files Fact Check, Araullo himself confirmed the context of the circulating image: “This photo is from 2019. We were covering a rally led by Gabriela Women’s Party, and someone requested a photo of me holding up the sign. I obliged, as I support efforts to protect women and children from domestic violence.”

At least three private FB users, one FB page (Ipanalo na natin ‘to), and one Twitter user made the incorrect claim in posts published on Feb. 25 and 26. Another page named Single Moms for Leni also uploaded the photo in a captionless Feb. 27 post.

A fourth private FB netizen published the photo with just “Atom” and a heart emoji as its caption, but commenters and sharers of the post — including FB pages The Pink Revolution and San Nicolas for Leni — quickly assumed that the photo indicates Araullo’s support for Robredo.

The eight FB posts collectively received over 3,400 reactions, 90 comments, and 460 shares from social media users, while the tweet has 649 retweets, 61 quote tweets, and 7,648 likes.

They circulated as Robredo traveled across the country to woo voters. On Feb. 25, when the photo of Araullo started circulating, Robredo was campaigning in Iloilo.


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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.)