Vice President Leni Robredo never said increasing vehicle ownership will address traffic congestion in the country, contrary to a quote card shared by supporters of presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr. across social media.
The quote card, which was posted by Facebook page “Bong-Bong Marcos News” on Feb. 28 without citing a source, reads:
QUESTIONS: Bumper na Bumper na traffic anong solusyon [?]
PACQUIAO: Napaka importante po talaga na dagdagan ang Skyways natin para mabawasan ang traffic.
LENI: Sa tingin ko mas importante na lahat ng tao mayroong sasakyan para mas mabilis ang pag biyahe.
The misleading quote was an offshoot of the presidential debate hosted by CNN Philippines on Feb. 27. Marcos was the lone candidate absent from the debate.
At the 1:09:32 mark of the debate uploaded to CNN Philippines’ YouTube channel, news anchor Pia Hontiveros, one of the debate’s moderators, asked candidates how they will “justify building more to the Filipino people who are already overwhelmed and tired of bumper-to-bumper traffic.”
The post correctly quoted Senator Manny Pacquiao’s answer on building more skyways to reduce traffic, but it was incomplete.
Pacquiao answered at the 1:09:47 mark with:
Napakaimportante po talaga na dagdagan po natin ‘yung skyways natin [para] ma-congest [o] mabawasan ‘yung traffic natin kasi malaki po ang talagang lugi ng Pilipinas araw-araw dahil sa traffic na ito.
Meanwhile, netizens quickly pointed out that Robredo’s answer was fabricated.
Robredo responded at the 1:10:52 mark, saying:
Karamihan sa mga tao walang sasakyan at nakikibaka araw-araw sa mass transportation. Kailangan ‘yung gobyerno magbuhos ng maraming pera para sa active transport, para siguraduhin na ‘yung mga kababayan natin mayroong nasasakyan sa mababang halaga, para nakakapunta sila sa kanilang trabaho, nakakauwi sila sa kanilang mga pamilya.
Pangalawa, ‘yung infrastructure dapat din magbigay ng maraming emphasis sa rural development. Kaya nagsisiksikan dito lahat dahil ‘yung trabaho nandito sa Manila, pero ‘pag mag-invest tayo sa mga kanayunan at may trabaho dun, ang mga tao maeengganyong umuwi sa kanila.
To back her call for more active public transport, Robredo also cited the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS), revealing that 87 percent of Filipinos agreed that public transport, bicycles, and pedestrians must be prioritized over private vehicles.
The claimed quote never figured in Robredo’s answer. In fact, the vice president previously bared her plans to build people-centric infrastructure projects, not car-centric.
The fabricated quote was reposted on the same day by another pro-Marcos Facebook page, “BBM The Nation Builder,” that has 103,000 followers.
As of March 2 5:35 PM, the first posting of “Bong-Bong Marcos News” had gained 1,700+ reactions, 1,400+ comments and 400+ shares, while the reposting of “BBM The Nation Builder” received 2,800+ reactions, 800+ comments and 600+ shares.