Fact check: Did Robredo ‘allow’ drug suspects to use guns in police ops?

November 18, 2019 - 12:31 PM
Leni Robredo in ICAD meeting
Vice President Leni Robredo meeting with the law enforcement cluster of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. (OVP/Released)

A false quote card on Twitter is making rounds about Vice President Leni Robredo saying she will “allow” drug users to carry guns if the police wanted to be armed in drug operations.

The fake post used a template by a news outlet to make it appear as if it was real, but the watermark at the bottom right side of the quote card indicated it was manipulated.

“If the police wants to be armed during raid… I will allow the suspects to carry a gun and use it para po patas ang laban,” the quote said.

Below the remark, a red-and-white logo of an app named Poster Maker could be seen.

A Twitter user who shared it on her timeline hoped the statement is a “total joke” or completely false.

Fake Leni quote
A fake quote from Twitter misaligning Vice President Leni Robredo. (Screengrab from Twitter user @mystic1434)

Robredo, who is the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs or ICAD, never mentioned anything about allowing drug suspects to “carry a gun and use it” especially in police operations.

Similar false quotes about the issue also went viral last week, where it mentioned that she is “banning” the police from using firearms in drug raids.

VERA Files, a non-profit organization advocating against social media disinformation, debunked three posts that misaligned Robredo on the topic.

One of them reads:

“Bilang Co-Chairman ng ICAD, agad kong ipag-babawal sa lahat ng kapulisan ang pagdadala ng baril o anuman uri ng sandata during Raid and Police Operation ng sagayon masiguro ko walang mamamatay na suspek.”

The organization reported that Robredo never mentioned anything about a ban. No news outlet has similarly reported anything about it.

VERA Files also managed to track the “earliest traceable version” of the post to a certain Facebook user whose name was included in the National Police Commission’s list of passers for the rank of Police Officer in August 2016.

When Robredo accepted her designation to become an ICAD co-chair, she mentioned that she would not tolerate killings of drug suspects, whether they are “big-time (traffickers) or small fry.”

Instead, she said that she would look at the drugs issue as a health and sociological problem.

“I am all for a strong national policy against illegal drugs and I am all for a vigorous anti-drugs campaign,” Robredo said before.

“We should also look at it not just using the lens of crimes or criminal justice but also using the lens of health and the fact that addiction is a medical and a sociological problem,” she added.