UPDATED: Old Mar Roxas photo resurrected, misleads

Written by
University of the Philippines Journalism Department and VERA Files
Last modified
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 10:33
Screenshot of misleading Mar Roxas photo

This updated article features the fact checks of the University of the Philippines Journalism Department and VERA Files on the same issue.  Both rated the Facebook posts that revived a 2009 photo of then senator and now Senate hopeful Mar Roxas on a “padyak” as misleading.– Ed.

Facebook post misleads with old Mar Roxas photo

By the University of the Philippines Journalism Department (Tuesday, March 19, 2019)

A viral Facebook post misleads readers by taking out of context an old Mar Roxas photo.

On March 13, Facebook page Think the Brighter Side of Life posted a photo of Senate hopeful Roxas riding a padyak (cycle rickshaw) with the caption:

Tingnan mo ang pakulo ni Mar, malapit na kasi eleksyon (Look at Mar’s gimmick, because elections are coming up)

The photo was taken during the runup to the 2010 elections, not 2019 as the Facebook post suggests.

It was uploaded in a Mar Roxas Flickr account with the caption:

Liberal President Sernator [sic] Mar Roxas flashes the thumbs up sign as he rides a padyak, which has become the symbol of his advocacies for a better life among Filipinos, along Fabella Street in downtown Naga City before attending a forum of an urban poor group hosted by Mayor Jesse Robredo (right). Robredo, a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, told his constituents he is supporting Roxas' bid to become the country's next President in 2010.

Roxas, then a senator, was earlier the Liberal Party standard bearer in the 2010 presidential race but gave way to Benigno Simeon Aquino III in 2009.

Aquino subsequently won the presidency; Roxas lost the vice presidential race to Jejomar Binay.

A September 2009 post by blogger Tonyo Cruz published the same photo and credited it to the website marroxas.com.

Robredo, mentioned in the caption and seen with Roxas in another photo of the same event posted on the Flickr account, died in a plane crash in 2012.

Original photos of Roxas

The misleading Facebook post has been shared more than 3,500 times, and has more than 550 comments, mostly critical of Roxas but a few pointing out the photo is old based on how he looks.


Cruz, T. (2009, September 21). Transcript: Mar Roxas accepts offer to be Noynoy Aquino’s runningmate [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://tonyocruz.com/?p=2392

Mar Roxas. (n.d.) Padyak 6 [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/marroxas/4289500771

Mar Roxas. (n.d.) Padyak 4 [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/marroxas/4290244726

Multiple FB pages, groups MISLEAD with old Mar Roxas pic

By VERA Files (Thursday, March 21, 2019)

Misleading Mar Roxas photo

At least 43 pages and public groups on Facebook (FB) carried an identical misleading post featuring a nine-year-old photo of senate hopeful Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

The old picture of Roxas driving a “padyak” or pedicab was published, shared and re-shared in March 2018 and between March 8 and March 19 of this year.

Crowdtangle, a social media monitoring tool, shows at least five FB pages were the main sources of these posts:

  • SnapDon’t Me and Time News Information, which gave the image this same caption:
“Lahat na lang gagawin, para lang mag-mukhang mahirap. Mar Roxas deaperado (sic) na ([He] will do everything to look poor. Mar Roxas is desperate).”
  • Think The Brighter Side of Life, which wrote:
“Tingnan mo ang pakulo ni Mar, malapit na kasi eleksyon (Look at Mar’s gimmick because it’s almost election [day]).
  • Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, which paraphrased Roxas’ 2016 presidential campaign tagline:
Trabaho lang, walang drama.” - Mar Roxas 
Ano masasabi nyo dito mga boss??? #share

A reverse image search shows Roxas’ photo was taken in Naga City, Camarines Sur “before attending a forum of an urban poor group.” The late Interior Secretary and Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo hosted the event. Robredo endorsed Roxas’ 2010 presidential bid before the latter withdrew from the race.

An article by Vox Bikol, an English-language newspaper published in Naga City, places the date Roxas rode the padyak at Aug. 15, 2009.

Read the full story at VERA Files Fact Check


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