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FB page revives Robredo misquote to decriminalize drugs

A Nov. 15 Facebook post rehashed a misquote of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo that she wants to decriminalize drug use.

Crabbler, a satirical page imitating online news website Rappler, shared photos of an alleged U.S. open-air narcotics market with the caption:

Robredo: “We should decriminalize drugs.”

The confusion first surfaced on April 23, 2017 when the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Robredo’s suggestion in an April 21, 2017 forum that the government look into alternatives to solving the drug problem. Its headline read:

Why not decriminalize drug use? VP urges gov’t to study Portugal move

Only halfway through the article did PDI say:

Robredo did not directly propose following the Portuguese government’s policy of decriminalizing drug use, but noted how the European nation dramatically shifted its focus from looking at drug abuse punitively to treating it as a health issue requiring treatment and reintegration.

The interpretation that Robredo advocated to decriminalize drugs was picked up by various news outlets in reports saying Duterte mocked her “proposal.”

Reports on April 27, 2017 report said Robredo denied suggesting to decriminalize drug use. She was quoted:

'Yung proposal natin pag-aralan 'yung iba't ibang best practices sa buong mundo (Our proposal was to study the different best practices across the world).

She also criticized the PDI story:

Binaligtad 'yung balita. Parang sinasabi na parang sinusulong natin na gawin nang legal 'yung paggamit ng droga. Malayong malayo 'yon sa katotohanan (The news story reversed what I said. It seemed to say we are pushing for the legalization of drug use. That is far from the truth).

Robredo has been the subject of multiple drug-related fake news articles, including after her Nov. 5 decision to accept her appointment as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Among those debunked by FactRakers are claims by netizens altering Robredo’s statement on the drug war and posting a doctored photo of Robredo with bloodshot eyes

A May 29, 2018 Vera Files fact check debunked claims that Robredo proposed to legalize drug use. Rappler debunked on Aug 16, 2018 a fake article circulating on FB which quoted her as calling for the legalization of shabu.


Cariño, J. (2017, April 27). Misquoted? Robredo denies calling for drug use decriminalization. Retrieved from

Ciragal, I. N. (2019, November 5). Duterte appoints Robredo as co-chairperson of inter-agency anti-narcotics body. Retrieved from

Corrales, N. (2019, November 5). BREAKING: Duterte appoints Robredo co-chair of gov’t committee vs illegal drugs. Retrieved from

Gita, R.A. (2017, April 28). Duterte rejects Robredo's proposal to decriminalize drug use. Retrieved from

GMA News Online. (2017, April 28). Duterte laughs off Robredo’s alleged proposal to decriminalize drug use. Retrieved from

Gregorio, X. (2019, November 5). Duterte formally appoints Robredo as co-chair of anti-illegal drugs body. Retrieved from (2017, April 28). Duterte mocks Robredo proposal to decriminalize drug use [Video file]. Retrieved from (2018, August 16). HOAX: 'Robredo's legalize shabu article on Rappler'. Retrieved from

Vera Files. (2018, May 29). VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post about Duterte 'rejecting' Robredo's proposal to 'legalize' drugs rehashed, FAKE NEWS. Retrieved from

Yap, D. (2017, April 23). Why not decriminalize drug use? VP urges gov’t to study Portugal move. Retrieved from


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