VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Badoy FALSELY claims Joma Sison has died


Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison is alive, contrary to the claim of Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy in a Feb. 25 Facebook (FB) post.

This was confirmed by Sison himself in a statement sent to VERA Files Fact Check.


On Feb. 24, five individuals — referred to by state forces as members of CPP’s armed wing, the News People’s Army (NPA) — were slain in an alleged armed encounter in New Bataan, Davao De Oro. Among the fatalities was Chad Booc, a University of the Philippines alumnus and volunteer teacher at the Lumad school Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development.

The following day, Badoy, who is also a spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, published a 424-word FB post in which she likened Booc to Sison, calling both of them “terrorists.”

She wrote in part:

“Some people can’t be called ‘human’ and they have forfeited their right to live among people who revere and love life. Joma Sison is one of them. Buti deds na (It’s a relief [he’s] dead). And Chad Booc is another.”

Source: Lorraine Marie T. Badoy official Facebook account, “No Tears For Terrorists,” Feb. 25, 2022 (Archived)

The post has garnered 2,300 reactions, 172 comments, and 545 shares from netizens as of March 2.


Buhay pa ako (I am still alive),” Sison emailed to VERA Files Fact Check on Feb. 27, two days after Badoy published her spurious post.

Sison said he served as a guest speaker in a recent online forum on fascism organized by the People’s Resource for International Solidarity and Mass Mobilization. The forum was streamed live on Feb. 26, starting at 9:35 p.m. Philippine time, on the FB page Peoples’ Fightback Against Fascism. It also had a live question and answer session with Sison.

Earlier this month, VERA Files Fact Check flagged several online posts that also erroneously claimed Sison had died. Addressing the death hoaxes, Sison said in a separate statement that he has “no life-threatening illness, only some inflammations on the legs due to rheumatoid arthritis (that) go away in only 2 to 4 days after medication.”

(See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Joma Sison is NOT dead, denies rumors)

Sison has been in self-exile in the Netherlands for over 30 years. He fled the Philippines in 1987 following unsuccessful peace talks between his group and the late president Corazon Aquino’s government.

In December 2017, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte declared the CPP-NPA as a “terrorist organization.” The United States government and the European Union also list the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.


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Philippine News Agency, 5 rebels killed in Davao de Oro clash, Feb. 25, 2022

1001 Pag-asa Brigade Facebook Page, “Topic: Encounter transpired on February 24, 2022 in Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Davao De Oro,” Feb. 26, 2022

University of the Philippines, From computers to communities, Jan. 10, 2019

Lorraine Marie T. Badoy official Facebook account, “No Tears For Terrorists,” Feb. 25, 2022

Jose Maria Sison, personal correspondence, Feb. 27, 2022

Peoples’ Fightback Against Fascism Facebook Page, FAQ on Fascism, Feb. 26, 2022

The Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 374, s. 2017, Dec. 5, 2017

United States Department of State, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, Accessed on Feb. 28, 2022

European Union, Official Journal of the European Union, July 31, 2020


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)