VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo did not say motorcycle riders should sit back-to-back

A manipulated quote card has been circulating since Aug. 2 on Facebook (FB), falsely claiming Vice President Leni Robredo advised motorcycle pillion riders to sit facing the rear and away from the driver to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

This is fake. Robredo has said no such thing in her personal and official FB pages, Twitter account nor in her official website. She in fact disowned the quote in a post on Aug. 4.

The full concocted quote reads: “Actually against din ako sa barrier na yan sa mga motorsiklo,siguro ma i a advice ko lang ,dapat siguro naka talikod ung angkas para hindi na kailangan ng barrier na yan (Actually, I am also against those barriers on motorcycles. What I can advise, maybe, is that the passenger should turn backwards so a barrier would not be needed).”

This was published by multiple netizens and two readers requested that it be verified by VERA Files Fact Check.

The fake graphic was actually an altered copy of a July 30 quote card by the FB page of GMA Network’s morning news show Unang Hirit, which originally carried a statement by the vice president about data collection on the country’s COVID-19 cases.

In denying the statement, the vice president’s official FB page decried the continuing deception against her.

Malinaw na isa na naman itong pagtatangka na manlinlang at manira—bahagi ng walang tigil na kampanya ng kasinungalingan laban sa Bise Presidente (This is clearly another attempt to deceive and ruin – part of an unending campaign of lies against the Vice President),” it read.

This is not the first time Robredo has fallen victim to creators of fabricated quote cards that show her giving senseless advice about COVID-19. (SEE: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizens post another FAKE Robredo ‘quote’ about proper respiratory hygiene, VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo DID NOT say basketball allowed if players are ‘3 meters apart’, VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo quote on ‘sucking in’ cough to prevent virus spread NOT TRUE)

Motorcycle back riding, or the practice of two people riding a motorcycle, was banned in areas under enhanced community quarantine and previously also under general community quarantine (GCQ). Beginning July 10, couples and live-in partners were allowed to ride together on motorcycles, as long there was a barrier between the riders and they show proof that they are a couple. The rule has angered motorcycle riders as a barrier interferes in maneuvering the vehicle. It has also been mocked by netizens.

With Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal reverting to a modified enhanced community quarantine from August 4 to 18, motorcycle back riding is now limited to only essential workers or authorized persons outside residence.

At least seven of the circulating fake quote cards reached over 3,000 shares collectively. Four were published by private accounts, two others by FB pages Motobhe and VIRAL NA PO TAYO, and one was shared on public FB group Sarah Duterte Carpio sa 2022.

Motobhe was created on Nov. 11,2019 and has 5,792 followers, while VIRAL NA PO TAYO was created on Sept. 28, 2018 with 63,232 followers.

Sarah Duterte Carpio sa 2022 is a public group with over 11,100 members; it was created on Sept. 18, 2019.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)