VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo ‘quote’ on OFWs being a nuisance to gov’t NOT TRUE

Vice President Leni Robredo is once again the target of disinformation. A made-up quote attributed to her is currently making the rounds on social media, claiming she regards overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as “additional problems to the government.”

On March 2, a netizen published on Facebook (FB) group SUPPORT AND PROTECT PRESIDENT DUTERTE the fake quote card, which carries an edited photo of Robredo grabbed from her official website. Next to it is the text: “Ang mga O.F.W. ay DAGDAG na PROBLEMA sa PAMAHALAAN (OFWs are additional problems to the government) -Leni Robredo.”

The netizen also wrote 'CTTO' in the caption, which is short for “credit to the owner.”

The vice president never said such a thing.

A keyword search on the web reveals no official record of an interview or speech where Robredo made the above statement. Neither are there media reports of the VP making the claim.

The last reported statement she made in relation to OFWs is in a Feb. 5 story by Manila Bulletin, where she said she plans to promote success stories of OFWs in Singapore and the Middle East through her Istorya ng Pag-Asa (Stories of Hope) program.

Before that, she tackled the issue during a Jan. 5 episode of her radio show BISErbisyong LENI, where she talked about the case of a slain Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait. There, she gave her opinion on what should be done so that no OFW will be victimized again by abusive employers. This can be viewed on Robredo's official FB account and page.

Robredo’s fake quote card surfaced about two weeks after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration lifted on Feb. 14 the total deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait, which was imposed on Jan. 16 following the rape and murder of Jeanalyn Villavende several days before. It has received over 3,600 public interactions on FB and could have reached almost 1.5 million netizens, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.

The post’s top traffic generators are BONGBONG MARCOS PILIPINAS SOLID GROUP""FOR PRESIDENT MOVEMENT 2022, DUTERTE ANG BOSES NG MASA, and Solid Duterte Supporters Worldwide -- all of which are public FB groups.

The SUPPORT AND PROTECT PRESIDENT DUTERTE FB group, which was created only in September 2019, has changed its name several times, according to its page history. It was first named DDS(Pagkakaisa tungo sa Kaunlaran), then Sara & BBM United 2022, and was then changed to PDu30 Movement-Sara & BBM United 2022, before it finally became SUPPORT AND PROTECT PRESIDENT DUTERTE in December 2019.

Last year, the vice president topped VERA Files Fact Check’s record of public figures who got the most number of viral fabricated quotations attributed to them.

(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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