VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Fake ‘Pinoy Ako Blog’ FALSELY claims Robredo’s Australia trip gov’t funded

An impostor Facebook page of Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB) published Oct.12 an online post claiming that Vice President Leni Robredo attended a wedding in Australia using taxpayers’ money. This is not true.

Bearing the same name and display photo of the anti-Duterte Facebook page, the fake PAB uploaded a screengrab of an image that shows Robredo inside a cathedral, standing beside a priest and a bride and groom whose faces were blurred. It wrote in its caption that the vice president went to Sydney to “lounge around” and serve as wedding sponsor “using public funds.”

Robredo’s recent trip to Australia was not government-funded.

A copy of the vice president’s travel authority obtained by VERA Files shows that the Office of the President -- through Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Ong -- approved her “private trip” to New South Wales, the state where Sydney is located, from Oct. 8 to 12. It noted that the trip was “at no cost to the government.”

Robredo herself also belied the claims about her recent trip in a post on her personal Facebook account on Oct. 13. She uploaded a copy of her Travel Authority to debunk a netizen who speculated about the funds used for her trip. The same netizen, whose account has since been deactivated, appears to be the source of the wedding photo used by the fake PAB.

The false post was published as Robredo concluded her five-day trip to Australia, during which she served as keynote speaker at a meeting of the Australia - Philippines Business Council. She attended a wedding of two Filipinos near the end of her trip on Oct. 11.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


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