FACT CHECK: Did Jimmy Fallon Call Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ‘One Of The Best World Leaders’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is “one of the best world leaders.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Fallon saying the quote attributed to him.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post features a picture of Fallon alongside the quote: “The way President Duterte is responding to this current crisis is commendable. He is really one of the best world leaders.” (RELATED: Did Queen Elizabeth Praise Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte In A Speech?)

While the post fails to specify what the “current crisis” is, it may be in reference to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The first COVID-19 case in the Philippines was reported on Jan. 20, 2020, according to the World Health Organization.

There is no evidence, however, that Fallon ever said the quote. The statement in question doesn’t appear in posts on his or “The Tonight Show’s” social media posts. An internet search further did not turn up any news reports of Fallon saying Duterte is “one of the best world leaders.”

The Philippines announced on March 16 that foreigners would be banned from travelling into the country beginning on March 20 due to surging COVID-19 infections, France 24 reported. Over 13,100 coronavirus-related deaths had been reported in the Philippines as of March 28, according to Reuters.

This isn’t the first time social media users have falsely attributed a quote about Duterte to a celebrity. Check Your Fact previously refuted the false claim that Queen Elizabeth II complimented Duterte in an April 2020 speech, saying, “The Philippines doesn’t have the worst government. It actually has the worst citizens.”

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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