Robredo debunks lies she married CPP-NPA rebel when she was 15

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2022 09:23 AM

Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and team attend the grand rally at the Paglaum Sports Complex in Bacolod City on Friday, March 11, attended by an estimated 70,000 supporters. VP Leni Media handout
Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and team attend the grand rally at the Paglaum Sports Complex in Bacolod City on Friday, March 11, attended by an estimated 70,000 supporters. VP Leni Media handout

 


Vice President Leni Robredo, who has been the top target of disinformation ahead of the May 2022 presidential election, debunked on Sunday lies that she married a communist rebel when she was 15. 

In a Facebook post, Robredo said she has been called many names since winning the vice-presidency in 2016.

"Hindi ako tinantanan ng fake news mula 2016 hanggang ngayon. I’ve been called many names - mandaraya sa election (hello??), lugaw, bobo, buntis, kabit, lutang, etc. Ni minsan, hindi ko hinayaan maging sagabal ito sa trabaho ko. Pinaghusayan ko pa din kahit pinapahirapan ako," she said. 

(Fake news has not stopped targeting me since 2016. I've been called many names, election cheater, lugaw, stupid, pregnant, mistress, absentminded, etc. I never let these be a hindrance to my work. I worked hard even despite the obstacles.) 

She said the latest lie being spread on social media is that she got married when she was 15 years old and that her husband was a CPP-NPA member who died in battle. She said the lie has "mutated" and now includes a son that she allegedly abandoned. This was allegedly before she married the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo. 

Robredo, however, pointed out that she was only in 3rd year high school when she was 15 and had never taken a leave of absence until she graduated from college at 21.

She said she stayed in the University of the Philippines Dormitory for 4 years and that all her roommates were women. 

"Nakilala ko si Jesse (Robredo) after graduation at kinasal kami TWICE when I was 22," she added. 

"Kung naniniwala ka pa, pagdadasal na lang kita."

(I met Jesse after graduation and we were married TWICE when I was 22. If you still believe lies, I will just pray for you.) 

The Vice President has also belied claims spread through text blasts suggesting that she has aligned herself with communist leader Jose Ma. Sison. 

Robredo clarified that she does not believe in using violence to solve problems, and that it is not true that she will be forming a coalition government with the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) once she wins the upcoming elections.

"Para klaro: kasinungalingan ito," she said.

(To be clear: This is a lie.)

"Once and for all: Kaliwa, kanan, taas, baba, lahat handa tayong pakinggan — basta tapat, mapayapa, at handang magtrabaho para iangat ang buhay ng Pilipino," Robredo added.

(Once and for all: Left, right, up, down, we are ready to listen to everyone - as long as they are truthfull, peaceful and ready to work for the betterment of the Filipinos.)

Robredo has come under intense vilification on social media, with majority of misinformation online directed against the presidential hopeful, according to collaborative fact-checking initiative Tsek.ph.

“Of the 200 claims that we curated, based on our initial analysis, majority of those are directed against presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo," Prof. Yvonne Chua, who has been leading the Tsek.ph since the 2019 midterm elections, a Senate committee that was reviewing criminal laws amid increased use of social media and technology. 

"There is a preponderance of negative messages against Leni and positive ones for [Bongbong] Marcos… We see a substantial and significant volume of false or misleading claims about presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in which case, these are largely positive or in his favor seeking to promote him,” she sadi in February. 

Tsek.ph also observed misleading posts promoting Marcos' martial law regime, supposedly distorting historical accounts. 

Robredo earlier admitted she made a mistake not debunking lies being spread against her on social media, saying the lies are being repeated over and over again. "Parang na-saturate na yung social media na naging mahirap na i-penetrate yung mga bubbles na na-create," she said. 

She said she has asked supporters to go out and help spread the truth. 

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