Fact check: Did Duterte commend Robredo for ‘Odette’ relief efforts?

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Fact check: Did Duterte commend Robredo for âOdetteâ relief efforts?
Undated file photo shows Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte
The STAR / Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — A quote card circulating on social media makes it appear that President Rodrigo Duterte commended Vice President Leni Robredo for her relief efforts in response to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

CLAIM: The quote — attributed to Duterte and posted as early as December 19 on Facebook by a page called Marcos Kawatan — thanked Robredo, who is running for president in the 2022 elections, for her help to victims of the typhoon.

RATING: This is fake.


What the quote said

The quote attributed to Duterte first slammed her political rival and fellow presidential aspirant, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for being a “weak leader” due to his supposed absence during times of calamity.

“‘Pag sinabi kong weak leader, weak talaga yan, tingnan ninyo where is Bongbong?” the quote said.

(When I say weak leader, he really is a weak leader, look, where is Bongbong?)

The quote then made mention of a certain “Inday,” presumably the president’s daughter and Marcos’ running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is identified as someone stronger than the former senator.

It then thanked Robredo’s office “for setting aside our politics and helping our kababayans in Mindanao and Visayas.”

What it left out

The quote does not appear in official transcripts on the website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office of Duterte's speeches and briefings related to the onslaught of Odette.

Reputable news organizations have also not reported on the quote attributed to Duterte.

The claim that Marcos has been absent in times of disasters is also false as he had visited Southern Leyte, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Bohol and Cebu to deliver relief assistance in the wake of Odette.

Essential context

Robredo’s responses to disasters and calamities have been widely praised, except by Duterte, who had even told the vice president to stop “competing” with the government’s efforts.

Despite having meager funding, Robredo has assessed the situation and deliver relief assistance in Bohol, Cebu, Surigao City, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental and Iloilo.

Why did we fact-check it?

As of writing, the quote card posted by Marcos Kawatan has earned 344 reactions, 488 comments and 293 shares on Facebook. It has also been shared by other social media users.

Robredo was also made to react to the president’s supposed “good words” by a reporter in Negros Occidental.


This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts

Have a claim you want fact-checked? Reach out to us at [email protected]

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