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FACT CHECK: Atty. Leni Robredo did not 'sashay' into DWSD office, meet Secretary Tulfo unexpectedly

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 30, 2022 7:24 pm

Atty. Leni Robredo and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo confirmed that the former VP indeed made an appointment to visit the agency's office after speculations of an unannounced appearance spread online.

Robredo dropped by the DSWD on Aug. 26 and met up with Sec. Tulfo. The two were pictured shaking hands and in discussion.

As the photos spread online, one Twitter user claimed that the Angat Buhay founder visited the government office "unannounced" and "without an appointment."

"Nagpunta, and dere-derecho daw sa office ni Secretary, who was caught of guard and cornered. And true to form, may bitbit na photographer si [Robredo] who shamelessly clicked," the user alleged.

In response, Robredo slammed this and said she made a formal appointment with the DSWD and that she did not bring a photographer with her for the visit.

"We wrote a formal letter addressed to Sec. Tulfo requesting for a courtesy visit. The OSEC staff got in touch with us and gave us a schedule. I went with Angat Buhay ED Raffy Magno. Not one photographer from us," the former VP said.

"The only photographer present was the DSWD photographer. We just shared Sec. Tulfo's Facebook post. Stop spreading fake news," she added.

For his part, Tulfo set the record straight during an interview with Anthony Taberna on DZRH News on Aug. 29.

"Nagpa-appointment po siya. Tinanggap po natin ang kanyang appointment as Angat Buhay representative," he said, adding that Robredo was there to discuss how the non-government organization could help the agency.

"Ang napag-usapan po may mga volunteers daw [ang Angat Buhay] na maaring makakatulong sa DSWD, sa mga nasa malalayo at liblib na lugar," Tulfo said.

Tulfo clarified that the visit wasn't for a collaboration, but for the volunteer work Robredo presented.

"Pumayag ho tayo, pero yung mga sinasabi na collaboration, 'di ho p-pwedeng ganun na makipag-collab kami sa mga foundation. Pero kung tulong na libre, pupuwede po," the DSWD secretary said.

Robredo launched the Angat Buhay non-government organization on July 1, a day after she stepped down as Vice President. The NGO aims to continue some of the programs addressing the needs of underprivileged Filipinos that she initiated during her six-year term.