In the lead-up to the Philippines’ presidential election in May, some Facebook users are claiming that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed strong support for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
However, there is no credible evidence that Ms Ardern has given the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos any endorsement. The only discernible source of a quote praising Marcos Jr and attributed to Ms Ardern is posts from partisan social media accounts. The prime minister’s office told AAP FactCheck the quote was “clearly fake”.
One recent Facebook post, which appears to be a screenshot derived from earlier versions dating back to at least November 2021 (see here), attributes the following quote to Ms Ardern: “I am impressed on how (sic) BBM (Marcos Jr) will lead his country. He could easily pay the debts of his country and lend gold to other nations. He is the solution to every crisis the world faces. If I am the Philippine’s (sic) president, I am willing to give my position to him. Sadly the oligarchs are destroying his name and reputation. He should file a case like swindling to teach them a lesson.”
The post was shared by multiple pages described as being for Marcos Jr’s supporters.
Ms Ardern’s press secretary confirmed in an email to AAP FactCheck that “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did not make that comment and the post is clearly fake.”
The purported quote, which includes several grammatical errors, does not appear in any transcripts published on the New Zealand government’s official website, nor does it appear in any Hansard reports of comments made to the New Zealand parliament. There are also no media reports of Ms Ardern making any such endorsement, or giving any identifiable comments on the upcoming election in the Philippines.
The language in the post’s quote is also at odds with the relatively measured way in which Ms Ardern has engaged with Philippines politics in the past.
For example, when asked in 2017 about extrajudicial killings under the Duterte presidency, which had already drawn international condemnation, Ms Ardern said the issue “certainly requires investigations and oversight at the very least”.
Marcos Jr has close ties to the Duterte family with the president’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, announced as his running mate in November. Current president Rodrigo Duterte is prevented by the country’s constitution from seeking re-election.
There is no evidence that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the purported quote in support of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, which can be traced to several partisan social media accounts.
Ms Ardern’s office confirmed to AAP FactCheck that the post’s quote was fake. The prime minister has not made any public endorsement of the Filipino presidential candidate or commented on the country’s upcoming presidential election.
False – The claim is inaccurate.