Online reports about thousands of slippers bearing Vice President Leni Robredo’s name being found unused in an abandoned New People’s Army camp in Negros Occidental last week have gone viral. They have since been shared tens of thousands of times.
The reports were published by blogs like thephpride.blospot.com, pinoyobserver.com, thephilippinepolitics.com. All three blogs published the story on August 4.
According to the reports, which are similar in all three websites from start to finish, members of the militry’s 61st Infantry Battalion found an NPA camp in the town of Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental, where they also discovered 1,034 pairs of unused Robredo slippers.
The reports further narrated a firefight between the government troops and the NPA for four hours, which killed six NPA rebels, wounded 4 military personnel, and caused 87 rebels to escape. With their sudden escape, the rebels left behind sacks of rice, clothes, ammunition, subversive documents, and clothes.
Authorities are said to be probing the reason as to why “Robredo’s campaign materials,” referring to the slippers and banners, were found in the NPA camp. The military was said to be investigating whether the campaign materials were given to the rebels or were looted by the rebels from the campaign warehouse. Cops were said to have set their eyes on investigating Robredo’s campaign coordinators.
However, we could not find credible sources carrying the story about the discovery of Robredo’s slippers in an NPA camp in Negros Occidental. We only found it carried by other blogs.
We also found all three websites to have published fake stories before, although Pinoy Observer has recently declared itself as a satirical blog. This made us question just how true their claims are about the Robredo slippers being found at the NPA camp.
When we check the photo used by Pinoy Pride and The Philippine Politics, we found it to be a photo first posted by frame.inquirer.net. According to Inquirer, the slippers bearing Robredo’s name were used by Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte as her birthday give-aways on March 14, 2016. This was well before the election in May 2016. The catch is that the slippers were only given to the residents of Barangay Bahay Toro in Quezon City.
We looked for other instances when Robredo might have given away slippers and found this post by Facebook page VP Leni Robredo about her second daughter, Tricia, visiting Marawi City in July. Aside from talking to the evacuees, Tricia also gave away school supplies to the kids and slippers. However, the slippers did not bear Robredo’s name this time. They were plain slippers in different colors.
Considering how much the blogs love fake news and the lack of reports from credible sources to confirm such a claim, this story about Robredo’s slippers being found in an NPA camp is likely fake.
Meme Buster has busted fake stories from Pinoy Pride, such as those about Trillanes abandoned by Zambales crowd, US and 17 other countries banned anti-Marcos Martial Law book, Pacquiao to donate all of his earnings from Horn match, Dionisia Pacquiao sold expensive bags and jewelry to help Marawi victims, and BBC staff laughed over Trillanes’ ‘childish letter.’
Some of the fake, satirical stories we busted from Pinoy Observer include those claiming that an Oxford law professor said Duterte cannot be prosecuted by the ICC due to his high ratings, the CBCP urged Bulacan massacre victims’ kin to forgive and forget, Hontiveros said Joma Sison will live and die a true hero, and BAYAN’s Renato Reyes asked for an executive job from Duterte for him to stop protesting.