VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo and DSWD Sec. Tulfo’s meeting was arranged, NOT unplanned

A vlogger falsely claimed in a Facebook (FB) post that former vice president and Angat Buhay Inc. chairperson Leni Robredo visited Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo without an appointment. But a letter requesting the appointment duly stamped and received by DSWD proved otherwise.

In an Aug. 27 post, Mark Lopez also claimed that Robredo brought a photographer during her supposedly unannounced visit to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  This was denied by Robredo and Angat Buhay Inc. Executive Director Raffy Magno.

On Aug. 29, Robredo wrote in a Twitter post that she and the Angat Buhay team wrote a formal letter addressed to Sec. Tulfo to request a courtesy visit. She said they did not take along a photographer with them, adding that Lopez should “stop spreading fake news.”

Magno, who accompanied Robredo during the Aug. 26 meeting with Tulfo, provided proof of a letter to Tulfo’s office and correspondence with Tulfo’s staff. He posted part of the formal letter addressed to Tulfo dated August 5. The letter bore a stamp on the right-hand side showing that DSWD’s Central Office received the letter on August 10. 

Angat Buhay’s executive director also confirmed with a staffer from Tulfo’s office that all appointments with the DSWD secretary are scheduled with prior approval. “Walk-in appointments, regardless of their position in government or non-government offices, are not allowed,” Tulfo’s staffer told Magno in Filipino. 

Tulfo’s appointment secretary also said the same thing to VERA Files Fact Check over the phone on Aug. 30. 

Also, cursory search confirms that Robredo’s FB post reshared the same four photos of the visit posted on Aug. 26 on Tulfo’s personal FB account.

Lopez’s incorrect post got a total of over 9,480 interactions. It appeared a day after Robredo and Tulfo met in person to discuss the former’s proposition about providing volunteers to help the DSWD disseminate information and aid to far-flung communities.

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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.)