VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Wedding pic does NOT show Robredo and ‘first spouse’


Several Facebook (FB) users published a wedding photo of a young couple, falsely claiming it shows presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her first husband.

The untrue posts described the groom as a “rebel,” “an active supporter of the leftist group during Marcos time,” while several said he was a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who disappeared in Cebu City. The posts that made the latter claim also erroneously stated that Robredo married the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to avenge the death of her first spouse.

The bride in the circulating photo is not Leni Robredo. Through a reverse image search, VERA Files Fact Check found that the original wedding photo was posted by FB user Jennet Canlas on June 16, 2021 to celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary.

According to Canlas’ FB profile, she is married to a man named Daniel Canlas.

Robredo also refuted the claim through a FB post on March 13. She said she was in third year high school when she was 15 and never took a leave of absence throughout her high school and college days. Some posts claimed she married her “first husband” at this age.

Robredo also said that she met her late husband Jesse only after graduating from college.

The false reports first emerged years ago and Robredo addressed them in a video titled VP Leni fights back vs. ‘fake news’ (Part 1) published on May 24, 2018.

Unang-una, dalawang beses talaga ako kinasal pero sa parehong tao. Meron akong civil wedding kay Jess. Meron akong church wedding sa kanya,” she said at the 1:16-minute mark.

(Translation: First of all, I was really married twice but to the same person. I had a civil wedding with Jess. I [also] had a church wedding with him.)

The revived incorrect claim was published from March 18 to 25, around the time of the first leg of the presidential debates hosted by the Commission on Elections on March 19.

The false claim can be found in at least 10 FB pages and groups, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. The same claim was debunked by Agence France-Presse Philippines in November 2021.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.


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