VP Robredo denies giving spoiled food to hospital, goes after 'fake news' peddlers

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 23 2020 12:25 PM | Updated as of Jun 23 2020 04:08 PM

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo denied Tuesday that she distributed spoiled food to workers of a Quezon City hospital and sought help to report social media users who spread the accusation. 

Robredo shared on Facebook a screenshot of the post that accused her of sending rotten food to the Diliman Doctors Hospital. 

The post alleged Robredo's spokesperson Barry Gutierrez "rushed to the hospital and asked the staff to keep it quiet" and supposedly "offered a cash donation." The hospital's director allegedly "refused to meet" Robredo went she went there the next day. 

"This has never happened. I never went to this hospital," said Robredo. She said her spokesperson also "never visited any hospital" when the coronavirus lockdown started in March and did not call the Diliman Doctors Hospital. 

Robredo added that the team that delivered hot meals donated by private individuals said they never received such complaints.

The Facebook user who made the accusation "is trying to skip liability with his 'confirm, if possible' line," said the Vice President. 

"If there was no malice, you should have checked first before posting. You should know that posting fake news makes you criminally liable," she said. 

Robredo asked her supporters to report the social media user and all those who re-posted the allegation on Facebook and Twitter. 

"We will go after all of them... We will no longer tolerate any of these," she said. 

Robredo's office earlier raised almost P60 million for pandemic response, including dormitories, safety gear and free shuttle rides for health workers; extraction and test kits for the coronavirus; and food and care packs for frontliners. 

The Vice President's relief efforts have been the subject of online misinformation. 

Mocha Uson, a deputy executive director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, shared to her 5.6 million Facebook followers in January a blog post claiming that Robredo gave relief packs with only 5 pieces of "pandesal" and a bottle of water to survivors of the Taal Volcano eruption. The Vice President denied this.