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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo did NOT request for priority landing for a flight

A local airline pilot alleged that Vice President Leni Robredo asked for priority landing, causing the diversion of their flight to another airport. This is false.

May 18, 2022

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A local airline pilot alleged on Facebook (FB) that Vice President Leni Robredo asked for priority landing, causing the diversion of their flight to another airport. It is a false claim.

The allegation, which came out on May 16, said their plane that was scheduled to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was re-routed after Robredo supposedly requested priority landing during peak travel hours, which inconvenienced hundreds of passengers. This was supposed to have taken place last month.

The post has since been taken down. However, several FB posts carrying the screenshot of the allegation continue to circulate online.

In a May 17 press statement, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) “categorically denies the false story” and said the “malicious” claim never happened at all.

“During her entire tenure as Vice President, VP Leni has never asked to be prioritized for taking off or landing when traveling by air. Any claim to the contrary is a lie,” the OVP said.

It added Robredo, who continues to be the target of disinformation in social media, has reiterated the need for an intensified campaign against the spread of disinformation while pushing to promote “truthful public discourse.”

Cebu Pacific Air, in a May 17 statement on their official FB page, made clear their pilot, who made the erroneous claim, admitted the allegation has “no basis” and was “purely speculative” on his part. The airline employee is currently under disciplinary review in accordance with the rules and standards of the company.

The inaccurate claim appeared a day after Robredo and her daughters flew to the United States to attend daughter Jillian’s graduation ceremony at the New York University.

The erroneous allegation continues to be circulated by FB pages Wala Na, Finish Na (created on Aug. 17, 2018), Jam Magno (July 16, 2014), BBM 2022 Volunteers (March 20, 2021) and a netizen. Collectively, the posts have garnered more than 2,890 reactions, 300 comments, and 1,180 shares.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form.

(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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