Vice President Leni Robredo was not reading a script during the CNN Philippines Presidential Debate on Feb. 27, contrary to posts circulated by candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s supporters across social media.

A post by Facebook page Uniteam Bbm-Sara that same day incorrectly alleged that Robredo was reading a script. They uploaded a clip showing Robredo glancing through her notes while answering a question about the West Philippine Sea.

Television anchor Pia Hontiveros, one of the debate’s moderators, clarified after the program’s first commercial break that participating candidates were not allowed to bring pre-prepared notes but were permitted to take notes as the debate happened. Hontiveros said:

Wala pong dalang notes ang ating mga candidates. Wala pong kodigo, walang gadgets. Ang meron sila papel at ballpen at doon sila nogno-note taking (Our candidates did not bring notes. There are no cheat sheets and gadgets. They only have a paper and pen where they do note taking).

On Feb. 28, Robredo posted on her personal Facebook account photos of the notes she took during the debate. She also mentioned that these helped her prepare for possible talk points without assurance these would be asked, saying:

…Good thing the organizers gave us a pen and some sheets of paper. Very useful in organizing my thoughts. Some of them I wasn’t able to use because they were not asked. Was just trying to anticipate some of the questions Kung ako yung unang tinatawag, di na ako n[a]kakapag notes dahil wala ng oras (When I’m called first, I can’t take notes anymore because there is no time).

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FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department. Associate Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.