A Facebook user falsely claimed that Vice President Leni Robredo went to an anti-illegal drugs forum of local government units, where her staff asked for funding for a drug rehabilitation program. 

CLAIM: Vice President Leni Robredo attended an anti-illegal drugs forum where her staff asked for funding for a drug rehabilitation program

A Facebook user named Bryan Young wrongly implied that the Office of the Vice President was only after kickbacks in a post dated April 9.

Young posted a photo of Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo speaking in what appeared to be a meeting with Saidamen Balt Pangarungan, former head of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, and Eduardo Año, secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He said this was one reason he would not vote for Robredo in the May 2022 election.

He claimed he was at the same forum that the vice president attended, and talked to Robredo’s staff to offer a drug rehabilitation program.  “We too were advocating for the stop of the killing of addicts nationwide,” he said.

He claimed that the talks went well until Robredo’s staff asked him for the estimated budget to start the rehabilitation program.  He said they’d pursue the project for free.  Robredo’s staff supposedly insisted that the project should have a budget to pay their staff who would join the program. He claimed this was the reason the project was scrapped and the P21 million budget was given to someone else.

He made the conclusion that Robredo and her staff were only after kickbacks.

The post, which has since been deleted, is rated “FALSE.”

The photo that Young used to back up his claim was from a tweet posted by the Philippine Star back in November 19, 2019. 

The meeting was held to brief Robredo, who was then the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), on the anti-drug campaigns led by the DILG.

In a report by Inquirer.net, Año said that the meeting was held to ensure the cooperation of local government units (LGU) with the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Basically ang involvement ng DILG ay to make sure that the LGUs are aboard on the campaign against drugs particularly on the establishment of anti-drug abuse councils at tsaka bilang lead sa advocacy cluster, tayo ay nangunguna kung paano ipaalam sa publiko ‘yung mga polisiya natin sa anti-drugs,” the DILG chief said.

Moreover, the DILG also released a statement thanking Robredo for a “long and fruitful talk,” and expressing their support for her proposal to form a Technical Working Group (TWG).

The TWG was tasked to “study, review, and recommend bills or legislative measures that will further enhance the government’s capacity to fight illegal drugs.”

Moreover, Robredo’s camp released a statement via their official Facebook page, debunking Young’s claim that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) asked for funding for a program for drug rehabilitation.

“Hindi magagawa ng Tanggapan at lalong wala tayong intensyon na gawin ang mga akusasyong nakapaloob sa post na ito. Hinihikayat natin ang lahat na maging mas mapanuri sa mga nababasa sa social media,” the camp said.

(The OVP would not and did not have any intention to do all the accusations stated in this post. We are encouraging everyone to be critical of everything they read on social media.) 

The OVP has consistently received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit, from 2018 to 2020.

Robredo is the favorite target of online disinformation since she became critical of Duterte’s administration. 

According to independent fact-checking network Tsek.PH said Robredo was the biggest victim of disinformation in January while Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the son and namesake of the late dictator and kleptocrat, meanwhile, was the biggest beneficiary of online disinformation. — Xander Lauren Cipriano


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