At least three websites published the same manufactured article on June 20, claiming Vice President Leni Robredo questioned why Filipino fisherfolk “have to go fishing in the ocean.”
Pesoeconomics.blogspot.com, philnewstoday.com and juanknows.com attributed this fake statement to Robredo:
“Ang ating bansa ang napapaligiran ng tubig. Bakit pa sa karagatan nangingisda ang mga mangingisda natin kung saan mapanganib (Our country is surrounded by water. Why do our fisherfolk still have to go fishing in the ocean where it is dangerous)?”
No legitimate media organization featured this quote, and official records from the Office of the Vice President’s website and verified social media pages show none of the fake pronouncement by Robredo.
The fabricated articles, which collectively could have reached almost four million people, were published four days after Robredo released her official statement on the maritime incident on June 9 involving a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese vessel on Recto Bank. In her statement, the vice president expressed her outrage at the incident and called for a “shift in policy,” to assert the country’s rights over the West Philippine Sea.
Traffic to the fake story was largely generated from social media Facebook pages DDS New York, Senator Manny Pacquiao Supporters Worldwide, and RODY DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL.
Pesoeconomics.blogspot.com was created July 2000; Juanknows.com on September 2017; and philnewstoday.com on August 2018.