VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Story claiming ‘famous Robredo supporter’ behind Duterte death hoax LACKS PROOF

Website published a story with no basis when it claimed that a “well-known supporter” of Vice President Leni Robredo had fabricated news of President Rodrigo Duterte’s death.

Bearing the headline, “Senator to sue the supporter of VP Robredo who spread fake news about President Duterte’s condition,” the story, published on Feb. 3, revolved around a netizen’s now-deleted Feb. 2 Facebook status, which read:

“Security is a must for VP Leni, ayon sa bulung bulungan na nakalabas sa kampo ni (according to whispers heard from the camp of) Koko [Pimentel]. PATAY na raw si digong (They say Digong is dead). Still UNCONFIRMED.” failed to provide proof that the netizen is a famous Robredo supporter. It merely used the portion of the netizen’s statement about the need to beef up the vice president’s security detail in making the connection.’s unproven story was published the same day former Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr. said he will sue the netizen for cyber libel for implicating his office in the fabricated post. The Feb. 2 death hoax surfaced a day after Duterte skipped a scheduled appearance in Leyte because of ill health.

A visit to the netizen’s Facebook profile shows a number of online posts critical of Duterte and his administration, but there were no posts praising Robredo.

The unproven story could have reached more than 2.2 million people, with traffic largely coming from the pages Unofficial: Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa Solid Supporters, Pinoy Trending and Pinoy Trend. was created on April 30, 2018.

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