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Robredo fights back against fake news peddlers

VICE President Leni Robredo has had enough of malicious claims besmirching her name and her office's COVID-19 efforts amid new allegations circulating on social media.

She belied allegations that her office distributed spoiled meals to the frontliners of the Diliman Doctors Hospital in Quezon City. She also denied that her spokesperson attempted to silence the hospital staff.

"My spokesperson, Atty Barry Gutierrez said he has never visited any hospital during the entire duration of the ECQ/GCQ nor ever called this particular hospital. Our team delivering hot meals donated by private individuals said they never received such complaints," she wrote on her personal Facebook page.

The Vice President shared a screenshot of the netizen who first posted the claim on Facebook. She also noted how the social media post started off with "Confirm if possible," saying the netizen is trying to skirt criminal liability. She also posted the names of those who shared the questionable post.

"If there was no malice, you should have checked first before posting. You should know that posting fake news makes you criminally liable. Let us report him plus all those who reposted. Take screenshots of everything, including those who reposted because we will go after all of them," she wrote.

Robredo sought the public's help in sending reports and screenshots of fake news to her official Facebook page.

The Vice President stressed, "We will no longer tolerate any of these."

Her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez, likewise, threatened fake news peddlers of cybercrime charges.

"12 years na limit sa cyberlibel, kaya abangan lang nyo mga sinungaling kayo," he wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Diliman Doctors Hospital issued a statement dismissing the allegations.

“Our institution received food donation on 3 occasions from the Office of the Vice President, but none of which have been found to be spoiled,” it said on its Facebook page.

“On the other hand, Atty. Gutierrez or any representative from the Vice President's Office never surfaced in our hospital to offer any monetary payoff.”

The hospital also disproved rumors that the Vice President herself showed up, and that the hospital’s president refused to meet her.

Robredo was the top victim of fake news in 2019, according to fact-checking group VERA Files. She has recently debunked several misinformed and malicious social media posts on her office's COVID-19 response. (CNN Philippines)

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