Vice President Leni Robredo’s camp on Tuesday, Nov. 2, expressed gratitude to DZRH station manager Cesar Chavez for apologizing over a false radio report that claimed Robredo’s supporters in Northern Samar were offered money to join the “pink motorcade”.
“Salamat sa pagsiyasat at sa paumanhin (Thank you for investigating and for apologizing), @sarchavez. Truly appreciate na binasa (that the statement was read) live on air sa iba’t ibang programa ng DZRH ngayong araw ang inyong pahayag na ito (in the different programs of DZRH today),” Vice Presidential spokesman Barry Gutierrez said on Twitter.
Robredo’s eldest daughter, Aika, also thanked Chavez who released an official statement as the vice president of Manila Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) and station manager of DZRH over the erroneous report on Sunday claiming that the volunteers were supposed to be paid to join the motorcade, but the organizers pocketed the money.
In his statement, Chavez said the reporter has already been suspended after failing to present a “direct quote” or proof of the claims.
“Ibig sabihin, mismong ang reporter namin ay walang nakausap kahit isang nilalang sa Northern Samar na nagsabi na may naganap na bayaran o mayroong nabayaran sa event na iyon (It means that even our own reporter didn’t talk to anyone from Northern Samar who said that they got paid or someone got paid from that event),” he stressed.
The apology came after Gutierrez and the organizers and volunteers of the Caravan for Vice President Leni Robredo released a statement.
“As support for VP Leni grows, we know that the hired trolls of other candidates will work overtime to spread lies and fake news. But we expect a bit more from those in the media profession,” Gutierrez said.
Supporters of presidential aspirant Robredo, on the other hand, also belied the claims, calling the report “malicious and irresponsible”.
“No one was paid and no one participated because there was payment promised or given. There was no funding for the said activity either. The caravan was purely voluntary,” they said.
“No one from our group had been asked as to our side on the allegations. No source, more so a reliable one, was cited,” they added.
However, Queenie Tagros, spokesperson for the Northern Samar caravan organizers, said they are accepting DZRH’s apology.
“Thank you, Sir, for clearing up [the news report about] our group,” she said on Facebook.
In a separate tweet, Chavez thanked Robredo’s supporters for calling them out respectfully.
“Maraming tumuligsa sa aming maling balita, ngunit wala akong nakitang nambastos. Manatiling mapagmatyag. Responsabilidad natin itong lahat (A lot criticized our wrong report, but I didn’t see anyone being rude. Continue to be vigilant. This is all our responsibility),” he said.
Robredo’s supporters have denied false news reports about the distribution of cash during volunteer-driven motorcades and caravans held the past two weeks to express their support for the Vice President and her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan.