FACT CHECK: No, this photo does not show De Lima petitioning the SC to allow visits from her ex-lover

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 06 2019 11:40 PM

An image shared hundreds of times on Facebook purports to show jailed Philippine senator Leila de Lima holding a petition asking the Supreme Court to allow her ex-lover to visit her. 

The picture is a doctored version of an original AFP photo showing De Lima filing a petition against President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

De Lima is in jail awaiting trial on charges she ran a drug ring in the country’s largest prison when she was justice secretary. Here is an AFP report from after her arrest in February 2017.

The photo, posted multiple times on Facebook for example here and here on March 29, 2019, where it has been shared more than 700 times, shows De Lima holding a document.

The papers in her hands have the words “Republic of the Philippines, Supreme Court Manila” in the upper-right corner and give her name as the petitioner.

The document also purports to say: “To allow Mr. Ronnie Dayan to visit me even once a week.” Dayan is De Lima’s former lover and driver and she has spoken about their relationship to Philippine media.

Below is a screenshot of one of the misleading posts:

Screenshot of Facebook post

The post’s caption, translated to English, says in capital letters: “Just like a plant, De Lima also gets dried up and also needs to be watered. Uggghhh!"

De Lima is a high-profile critic of Duterte and her arrest has drawn accusations from rights groups that the case is politically motivated, such as Amnesty International here.

A Google reverse image search traced the image of De Lima to a photo published by AFP on November 7, 2016.

Below is a screenshot of the photo on the AFP image site here:

Screenshot of photo on AFP's image website

The photo was taken as De Lima asked the Supreme Court to stop Duterte from securing private information about her in order to attack her. Here is a Senate press release on her petition.

Both the altered and the original photos contain these key details: De Lima wearing a black scarf, a pearl ring on her left hand and a video camera at the background.

The image below compares a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post (L) and the AFP photo (R):

Screenshot of images