Several Facebook (FB) pages and groups, including Sen. Robin Padilla’s official account, passed off a photo showing former president Rodrigo Duterte relaxing outside his Davao City home, supposedly after stepping down from the presidency last June 30. It is misleading.
The photo, which appeared on July 2, showed Duterte sitting on a chair backward outside the gate of his house, with his partner Honeylet Avanceña and three other persons standing around him. It was reposted throughout the week and continues to gain traction among FB users, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.
All of the posts on Duterte’s supposed retirement photo bore the caption:
“LOOK! FORMER PRESIDENT DUTERTE SEEN OUTSIDE THEIR HOUSE IN DAVAO! Former President Duterte is seen outside [sic] their house in Davao like a normal citizen. People are amazed of how humble our former President is. He is outside to breath [sic] some fresh air. Enjoy your retirement FPRRD! Salamat sa 6 years (Thank you for the six years)!”
FPRRD stands for former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
The photo’s caption is misleading. The photo was not taken after Duterte’s term ended on June 30. It was uploaded last September 2017, December 2019 and October 2020 by pages supporting the then-president, bearing a caption:
“Ganito lang po ka simply [sic] ang Bahay ni President Rody Duterte sa Dona Luisa village Davao. Minsan nakipagbiruan pa siya sa mga bisita niya. Ang bahay nya ngayon ay araw araw marami ang bumibisita naging tourist spot na ito hindi dahil sa isang bonggalo [sic] na bahay kng [sic] hindi sa ka simplihan nito na karamihan ay hindi makapaniwala na ito ang Bahay ng isang Pangulo ng Republica ng Pilipinas.
(This is how simple the house of President Rody Duterte in Doña Luisa Village in Davao is. Sometimes, he even jokes with his visitors. Many people visit his home daily, this has already become a tourist spot, not because it is a bungalow but because of its simplicity that many cannot believe it is the house of the president of the Republic of the Philippines).”
Further research on the photo’s provenance showed it was taken during an interview with Duterte on April 17, 2016, held outside his house when he was still a presidential candidate.
In that interview, Duterte slammed critics who called him out for a controversial rape joke he made in one of his campaign speeches.
While an exact copy of the photo uploaded on that same day is no longer available, a recording of the interview from Rody Duterte YouTube channel shows him wearing the same white shirt with a blue print design while sitting backward on a yellow monobloc chair.
The video featured a short-haired woman in a mint green polo shirt carrying a blue-green sling bag. The woman was not a regular visitor but a reporter.
A clip of the interview uploaded on GMA News’ YouTube channel shows the long-haired woman wearing a black dress and checkered flannel and the man wearing a red polo shirt holding microphones. Both are also reporters.
At least 30 FB groups and pages shared the image and garnered more than 162,000 interactions as of July 8, according to the social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. Its top traffic generators are Robin Padilla (created May 27, 2011), Bucks Pinoy (Aug. 13, 2020), and BBM 2022 (May 3, 2021).
The verified account of Bombo Radyo Gensan also uploaded the photo with the misleading caption on July 3, where it garnered 5,300 reactions, 207 comments, and 225 shares.
Editor’s note: This fact check was produced with the help of a journalism student of the University of the Philippines Diliman as part of their internship at VERA Files.
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Robin Padilla official Facebook page, LOOK! FORMER PRESIDENT DUTERTE SEEN OUTSIDE THEIR HOUSE IN DAVAO!, July 2, 2022
Good News Supporters Facebook page, Ganito lang po ka simply ang Bahay ni President Rody Duterte sa Dona Luisa village Davao, Sept. 9, 2017
Good News Supporters Facebook page, Ganito lang po ka simply ang Bahay ni President Rody Duterte sa Dona Luisa village Davao, Dec. 8, 2019
Duterteism United Facebook page, Napaka-simple!, Oct. 3, 2020
Rody Duterte YouTube channel, RRD Interview April 17, April 17, 2016
GMA News official YouTube channel, UB: Duterte, hindi magso-sorry sa sinabi, pero nag-sorry sa nangyaring insidente, April 18, 2016
Bombo Radyo Gensan official Facebook page, LOOK! FORMER PRESIDENT DUTERTE NAKITA SA GAWAS SA ILANG PANIMALAY SA DAVAO, July 3, 2022
(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)