The week started with a controversial press briefing with presidential candidates Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, and Senator Panfilo Lacson. All survey laggards, they announced that they have no plans of withdrawing from the presidential race.

Moreno, who placed third in Pulse Asia’s March survey and is 16 points behind Robredo, urged her to withdraw from the race, citing ineffective campaign strategies and suggesting that she team up with the three of them to defeat the frontrunner, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Domagoso claimed that Robredo’s campaign was motivated by personal agenda and revenge, reiterating a rivalry between pink and red campaigns. He and Lacson also accused their former supporters, who switched sides for Robredo, of being paid by her camp. Fact-checkers disputed these claims.

Peddlers of disinformation have continued to red-tag candidates. Nominees of party-lists Kabataan, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), and Gabriela, as well as senatoriables Neri Colmenares and Bong Labog, including presidential hopeful Leody De Guzman, were accused of being members of the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army). Suspended lawyer and UniTeam senatorial candidate Larry Gadon also asserted that former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. was a leader of the communist insurgency. These are all baseless claims.

Robredo’s rallies continues to break records

Robredo’s critics are unstoppable in spreading false information, especially in discrediting her accomplishments. After the launch of her new campaign symbol, a former broadcaster and staunch Marcos supporter accused her of copying the design of a “sex toy” company’s logo⁠—this is false. An edited video of Robredo dancing with indigenous people also misled viewers by changing the music to “Dayang Daya,” a parody of a Yoyoy Villame’s hit.

In the joint press conference of Domagoso, Lacson, and Gonzales, a tabloid reporter asked them what their thoughts are on a baseless claim that Robredo said,”’pag natalo siya ngayong eleksiyon ay magkakagulo” (chaos would ensue should she lose the elections). Robredo’s spokesperson, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, denounced the claim, elaborating that Robredo did not make the statement.

Robredo continues to gain momentum, thanks to growing support as seen through her well-attended rallies. The Ceboom rally, which drew crowds of up to 250,000, was also contested by Robredo’s detractors who said that schools had forced students to attend the rally. The latest rally, held in Pasay, had a record-breaking crowd of 412,000.

Efforts to invalidate her candidacy also re-emerged this week. Fact-checkers noted that previously dismissed sedition raps against Robredo were circulated online for the third time this year. The Supreme Court already cleared Robredo of these accusations. The recent endorsement of Miss Universe 2015 Catriona Gray also drew the attention of fact-checkers after she misclassified Robredo’s PAO (Public Attorney’s Office) work. This lacks context. Robredo did not serve the judiciary branch, but rather, she has had judicial experience.

Lastly, a video from a previous COMELEC-hosted debate was misused by cropping other presidential candidates and claiming that Robredo met with COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez to rig the elections. This misleading video intentionally cropped other candidates from the screen and failed to identify those others present within the frame.

On malicious falsehoods against the Robredo family:

The persistence of false Marcos narratives

Despite numerous fact-checks on the Marcoses, the internet continues to publish content that supported misleading and erroneous claims. Among these fabrications, the myths surrounding the Tallano gold are constant. One falsehood asserts that the fabled Tagean-Tallano family owns the entire country. Another reports that BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) Governor Benjamin Diokno validated the existence of the Tallano gold. The claims are untrue.

There are attempts to downplay human rights abuses of the Marcos dictatorship through a misleading claim that the reports of Amnesty International were fraudulent and based on hearsay. However, fact-checkers noted that the international non-governmental organization was in the country in 1975 to investigate the issue.

As for the deposed dictator’s son, a YouTube video claimed that he authored Senate Bill (SB) No. 1297, which is a law revising the New Central Bank Act of 1993. A Facebook page supporting his campaign disseminated that 73 of 81 governors endorsed his campaign. His spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, also announced that paid voters were planted by their rivals on their Tarlac sortie. Rodriguez also expressed how a viral video of Marcos withdrawing his hand from a caravan attendee belied the attendee’s attempt to lacerate his hand. These were all refuted by our fact-checking partners.

With Marcos currently leading surveys, endeavors to exaggerate rally turnout and disperse false endorsements remain rampant despite fact-checking efforts. This persistence of his most loyal allies disregards the electorate’s right to make informed decisions by embellishing facts and manufacturing falsehoods to maintain his lead and cement a win in the crucial elections next month. Voters are advised to read reliable sources and report dubious information via our tip line which you can access on Facebook messenger.

Previous posts: is a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippines’ elections. It is an initiative of academe, media and civil society to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.