Image misleadingly shared in posts claiming Philippine VP Leni Robredo rejected supporter's hug

·2 min read

An image has been repeatedly shared on Facebook alongside a claim it shows Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo leaning away from a supporter attempting to hug her. But the image has been shared in a misleading context; it was originally published in a news report about Robredo attending an anti-hunger event where she helped prepare meals. Footage of the event shows the supporter was donning Robredo an apron for the event.

The image was shared on Facebook on November 14.

Its Tagalog-language caption states Robredo "doesn't want to be hugged".

Text overlaid at the bottom of the image states in part, "LENI DISGUSTED WITH HER OWN SUPPORTER!"

Screenshot of the misleading post. Taken November 19, 2021.

The image was shared alongside a similar claim here, here and here on Facebook.

It was also shared in videos that make the same claim on Facebook here and YouTube here.

These posts circulated online after Robredo -- who is running for president in 2022 -- visited supporters in Cebu in central Philippines.

Comments on the posts show they misled social media users.

"If you didn't want to be hugged, then you shouldn't have visited that place", one wrote.

But the image was shared in a misleading context; the supporter was donning Robredo an apron as she helped prepare meals for an anti-hunger event.

Keyword searches on Facebook show the original photo was originally published here by Superbalita Cebu, a regional newspaper in central Philippines.

The image was part of an album which was captioned in Visayan language: "Vice President Leni Robredo visits the Dayon Advocacy Coalition Kitchen to unveil a program with the theme 'Families that stay together to fight extreme poverty and hunger' at the Archbishop's Palace residence covered court in Cebu City Friday, November 12, 2021".

Other images in the album show Robredo helping prepare meals during the event.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the original published by Superbalita Cebu (R).

Screenshot comparison

Footage of the event was published by local media organisation Cebu Daily News here on November 12.

From the video's 14-second mark, the supporter could be seen donning Robredo an apron.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading posts (L) and a corresponding frame in the video published by Cebu Daily News (R).

Screenshot comparison

In response to AFP's query, Robredo's office refuted the claim in the posts.

"The woman wasn't hugging [Robredo]. She donned [Robredo] an apron and naturally, she'll have to come close," a representative told AFP.

AFP found no credible reports of Robredo rejecting a supporter's hug during the anti-hunger event.

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