VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Posts MISLEAD with dismissed sedition raps vs. Robredo


For the third time this year, netizens have revived a two-year-old 24 Oras news report about the charges filed against Vice President Leni Robredo in 2019 to insinuate that she does not have a “clean record.” But the circulating posts mislead: it excludes the fact that the charges have already been dismissed.

On Feb. 10, 2020, the Department of Justice cleared Robredo, with opposition and religious leaders and lawyers, of the following charges: sedition, inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice, after it found no probable cause regarding their alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte.

Only eleven individuals, including former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, were indicted for conspiracy to commit sedition over the publication of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, which linked Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade.

At least two TikTok users (@ginopacz1427 and @bee_bee_ehm) and one Facebook (FB) page (maryann.sayson) published on April 16 and 17 the misleading clips, running for less than 30 seconds each, lifted from the 2019 24 Oras report. All three accounts support Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Robredo’s rival in this year’s presidential race.

In the captions on their posts, the FB page and one TikTok user (@ginopacz1427) questioned Robredo’s “clean record.” Some netizens were quick to agree with the posts’ claim, with one person calling Robredo a “hypocrite” in the comment section and others calling the sedition case her “karma” for her “accusations against Marcos.”

The outdated clip started recirculating the same day the family of former president Ramon Magsaysay endorsed Robredo’s presidential candidacy. Days prior, actor Piolo Pascual also expressed support for the vice president and volunteer group IM Pilipinas, which initially supported the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.

The misleading TikTok videos of users ginopacz1427 and bee_bee_ehm collectively received over 877,600 views, 44,600 hearts, 2,400 comments, 2,200 shares, while its FB post counterpart received 142,000 views and got over 5,500 reactions, 1,000 comments and 3,000 shares.

VERA Files Fact Check twice debunked last February social media posts that carried the same outdated 24 Oras report.

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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.)