VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Southern Leyte gov’s ‘Dos Por Dos’ remark on Robredo, Odette relief NEEDS CONTEXT

Needs context

A video is making the rounds online where Southern Leyte governor Damian Mercado said Vice President Leni Robredo brought nothing with her when she visited the region battered by Typhoon Odette last year. It needs context.

The circulating video was a 55-second clip of an interview of Mercado with radio broadcasters Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja, hosts of the DZRH program Dos Por Dos. He said Robredo did not bring any relief packs when she came, whereas rival candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. gave cash and in-kind donations.

The short clip was first uploaded by TikTok user pholdee30 on Jan. 29. The text in the video read: “Mama Mink niyo nagbubuhat na naman ng sariling bangko (Your [Leni Robredo] is lifting her own bench again).”

The video snippet cut off the rest of the context. In the Dec. 21, 2021 Dos Por Dos interview (timestamp 51:15 to 52:05), Mercado did say Marcos donated P2 million in cash and other goods when the typhoon ravaged the region in December last year.

However, when Taberna asked if Robredo brought aid with her, Mercado said that while the vice president did not provide any cash or relief goods she promised to send these later.

Below is a transcript of the exchange:

Mercado: Nagpunta din dito si Vice President Leni Robredo, nag-ano din, nagsabi na magtulong (Vice President Leni Robredo also went here and said she would offer help).

Taberna: May inihanin ba sa inyo si VP Leni Robredo (Did VP Robredo give you anything)?

Mercado: Wala, wala. Ang ano lang niya na magpadala siya (None, none. But she said she would send [aid]).

Taberna: Nagcommit naman si VP Leni na magpapadala po? (VP Leni committed to send [aid])?
Iyan ang sabi niya sa akin (That’s what she told me).

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Robredo People’s Council, composed of volunteers supporting the vice president, received tens of millions worth of goods and in-cash donations for the typhoon victims. The OVP also distributed P49.2 million worth of shelter repair kits to help families recover from the typhoon, including residents of Southern Leyte.

The video first emerged three days after Robredo said in an interview with talk show host Boy Abunda, aired on Jan. 26, that her team is always “the first” to respond in times of crises.

The clip continues to receive engagement this week, when Pulse Asia reported that the vice president obtained a voter share of 24% in a voter preference survey, surging nine points compared to the polling body’s previous survey.

The TikTok video has been watched more than 12,300 times and has garnered more than 580 interactions. It was re-uploaded by a netizen and the Facebook page DUTERTE Media (created on Jan. 9, 2015, under the name PIO Mandaue). Their videos have collectively received more than 4.53 million views and garnered more than 2,000 reactions, 13,200 comments, and 247,600 shares.


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