VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video during which no media protection of Duterte reduction efforts after Rolly is claimed FALSE


A two-week-old video claiming President Rodrigo Duterte’s aid to the victims of Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) continued to be engaged by social media users, unlike Vice-President Leni Robredo’s relief efforts. It is wrong.

The YouTube channel Robin Sweet Showbiz published the untrue post on November 8th with the title “TULONG NI DUTERTE HINDI PINAPALABAS NG MEDIA, PERO KAY LENI KALIWA’T KANAN! PINAPABANGO BA (Help from Duterte is not shown by the media, but Lenis is covered left and right! Do they support her)? “Five minutes later, it was uploaded again to Facebook (FB) from PH News Online.

Contrary to what the video claims, news organizations reported on the Duterte administration’s relief efforts. Local media also covered the president’s aerial inspection of the Bicol region and his visit to Guinobatan, Albay on November 2nd.

Robin Sweet Showbiz showed 16 photos to support his false claim. Some came from relief operations by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Navy and Air Force, while others came from Robredo’s relief efforts in Camarines Sur. It also featured a photo of Typhoon Haiyan to illustrate the previous government’s relief efforts.

The photo of typhoon victims rushing to a helicopter is a picture taken by the European Press Photo Agency on November 16, 2013 by photojournalist Francis R. Malasig. It shows a United States Navy Sea Hawk helicopter carrying relief supplies landing from Haiyan after the devastation in the city of Salcedo, Samar.

Five of the pictures showed PCG members loading 60 tons of food parcels, mineral water, mosquito nets as well as kitchen, hygiene and sleeping sets onto the BRP Gabriela Silang on November 4th. The relief efforts were sponsored by Manila Bulletin, Radyo Inquirer, and UNTV Radio.

Two photos of the Philippine Navy bringing relief supplies to Sorsogon and Legazpi City on board the BRP Tausug and BRP Pangasinan were also shown. Radio Mindanao Network published a story about it while Bombo Radyo, SunStar Cebu and Radyo Inquirer covered BRP Pangasinan en route to the Bicol region.

Radyo Inquirer also reported on the docking of the PCG’s BRP Malapascua on November 5th in the port of Legazpi to send supplies to the port of Catanduanes. A photo of this was also featured in Robin Sweet Showbiz ‘untrue post. Effort was also mentioned in a Manila Standard article.

The video also showed three images of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) operation on November 6 to deliver relief supplies in Gigmoto, Catanduanes.

While a cursory search reveals no news reports of the exact effort, the Filipino Canadian investigator reported on Nov. 4 on previous PAF activities to deliver relief supplies to the Bicol region via the same team.

According to reports from, Politiko Bicol and GMA News Online, Robredo visited Barangays in Camarines Sur to investigate damage and provide supplies. The photos of Robredo’s operations used in the video are from three different posts on the Vice President’s official FB page.

To cast a bad light on Robredo’s efforts, the misleading video also read FB posts by former radio personality Jay Sonza and another FB user.

Robin Sweet Showbiz’s faulty video has around 47,000 views on YouTube and almost 1,600 interactions on Facebook in total, according to CrowdTangle, the social media monitoring tool. In the meantime, the re-upload of PH News Online has been viewed by almost 74,000 people with around 4,500 likes, 760 comments and 2,700 shares at the time of publication.

The fake videos surfaced when the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo became trending on Twitter after internet users questioned the president’s absence during a government briefing about Typhoon Rolly. The same hashtag made headlines again when Typhoon Ulysses hit the country less than two weeks later.

PH News Online was created on November 6th while Robin Sweet Showbiz was created in July 2017.

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

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