​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website FALSELY recycles satire on Robredo’s ‘P278M LA trip’ as news

Website pinastrendz.xyz falsely reported as legitimate news a two-year-old satire about Vice President Leni Robredo’s travels abroad.

On Oct 5, the website posted the story with the headline, “Shocking Exposed! VP Leni Robredo’s Expenses For L.A. Trip . Must Share!”. It carried a June 2017 photo of the vice president at a Filipino American Symphony Orchestra gathering in California. Pinastrendz.xyz claimed to expose Robredo’s total bill during a trip to Los Angeles -- amounting to over P278.8 million -- and showed a breakdown of her “unaudited” expenses.

The story is a copy-pasted version of a parody that satirical website Adobo Chronicles published on June 19, 2017. Pinoytrendz.xyz edited out the mentions of “Adobo Chronicles” in the story, and did not label its republication as satire.

Adobo Chronicles, a satirical blog registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office since 2015, likewise spoofed an expense breakdown.

Pinoytrendz.xyz’s untrue report surfaced as the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, was set to announce the results of the initial vote recount in the electoral protest between her and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The former senator, who lost to Robredo by a little over 250,000 votes, filed an election protest in June 2016 contesting her win.

Pinoytrendz.xyz’s false story could have reached over a million people. Top traffic generators to the report from social media are Facebook groups MARCOS LOYALIST, BongBong Marcos United and Solid Duterte-Marcos Supporters.

Pinoytrendz.xyz shares the same Google Adsense code with duterteforever.net and two other websites, suggesting that there may be one publisher behind said websites. VERA Files Fact Check has previously flagged duterteforever.net for publishing a fake report (See: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Report claiming FVR said Duterte should 'step down' FALSE).

(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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