VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Quote card of Robredo wanting to free prisoners to ‘prevent spread of COVID-19 in jails’ NOT TRUE

A Facebook (FB) user on March 19 posted a fake quote card of Vice President Leni Robredo saying prisoners should temporarily be released to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in jails.

According to the post, media network News5 reported Robredo saying, “Paano ang mga preso? Sila dapat ay pansamantala ng palayain. Hahayaan na lang ba natin sila magkasakit sa kulungan (What about the prisoners? They should be temporarily freed. Will we just allow them to get sick in prison)?”

The fabricated post features an edited copy of a graphic that News5 published on March 17 on its official FB page based on a quote from Robredo's public address aired on her FB page that day where she spoke about social distancing. She made no call to free prisoners.

The original quote card had Robredo saying: “Protect the vulnerable and we protect the whole. Kaisa ako sa panawagan ni Pangulong Duterte na sumunod sa (I am one with President Duterte’s call to follow) social distancing measures. Ngunit hindi pwedeng iwanan na lang ang mga maralita para asikasuhin ang sarili nila (However, we cannot just leave the poor to fend for themselves).”

The fake post was published two days after Robredo’s address was released, where she also gave the public an update on her fundraiser to provide personal protective equipment for health workers.

It received over 60 reactions and 131 shares on FB.

VERA Files Fact Check debunked last week two other fabricated quote cards concerning Robredo, which manipulated a graphic from News5 and GMA News Online.

(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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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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