A couple of Facebook (FB) pages that support presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio published an edited image to claim that a million people gathered at Vice President Leni Robredo’s Cebu grand rally last week.
Robredo’s camp was criticized for releasing a fake photo while others called out the pro-Uniteam pages for publishing the manipulated images. This is not the first time pro-Uniteam FB pages published a fake photo taken from one of Robredo’s grand rallies. (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Pro-Uniteam pages spread FAKE photo of Leni-Kiko Pasig rally)
The manipulated images published on April 22 used a real photo taken a day before which was doctored in varying degrees – two showing a crowd of Robredo supporters filling the areas near the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City and the other showing them seemingly standing on the sea.
One of the captions read: “Record breaking 1,000,000 ang umattend sa Leni Grand rally sa Cebu. Sa dami ng tao nahirapan na huminga ang dumalo. (Record-breaking, 1,000,000 attended the Leni grand rally in Cebu. Due to the huge crowd, people were having a hard time breathing).”
The original image was taken from FB page Robredo People’s Council – Cebu which was published a few hours before the fake images appeared. According to the post, the aerial photo was taken before the presidential aspirant and her running mate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan arrived at the venue.
The altered photos appeared after Robredo visited Cebu for the second time on April 21, amassing a much bigger crowd compared to her initial rally despite failing to court the endorsement of the biggest political party in the region.
FB pages The Lumad Times (created on April 7, 2020) and Davao Crypto Daily (April 10, 2017) posted the manipulated images and their posts collectively garnered more than 21,900 reactions, 4,000 comments and 3,800 shares.