VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB page WRONGLY tags 9 Leftist groups as ‘party lists’ running in 2019 polls

A reader asked VERA Files to look into an online post that dissuades readers from voting for 14 Left-leaning “party list groups” in the coming midterm elections.

A closer look shows that the post is misleading as more than half the groups were either not running, or were not party lists at all.

The post, published in October 2018 by Facebook page Inside Truth, featured a photo bearing the text, “Huwag iboto! Kalaban ng gobyerno (Don’t vote for them! Enemies of the government),” and the logos of the following organizations:

  • Kabataan Partylist
  • Bayan Muna
  • Migrante Partylist
  • Kalikasan Partylist
  • Courage Partylist
  • Anakpawis Partylist
  • ACT Teachers Partylist
  • Katribu Partylist
  • GABRIELA Women’s Party
  • League of Filipino Students
  • Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (MAKABAYAN)
  • Kilusang Mayo Uno
  • Anakbayan
  • Kadamay

The post’s caption that read, “DO NOT VOTE COMMUNIST TERRORISTS PARTY LIST!” is also wrong.

Only five groups – Kabataan Partylist, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis Party-list, ACT Teachers Party-list, and GABRIELA Women’s Party – are included in the Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC) official list of party list candidates for the May 13 elections.

Migrante is actually disqualified from participating in the 2019 polls for failing to obtain a seat in the last two elections, under a March 2018 COMELEC resolution.

Katribu, Kalikasan and Courage had also been previously disqualified by COMELEC in 2015, 2013 and 2012, respectively, for the same reason.

The rest of the organizations in the list are not even party list groups:

  • Makabayan, a coalition of party-lists and Leftist groups fielding senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares
  • League of Filipino Students, a left-leaning student group
  • Kilusang Mayo Uno, a labor group recognized by the International Trade Union Confederation
  • Anakbayan, a youth activist group; and
  • Kadamay, an urban poor group.

Inside Truth’s misleading online post was repeatedly reshared by its top traffic generator, Facebook page We Support AFP, in January, and most recently on Feb. 14, two weeks after COMELEC released the official list of candidates in the coming polls.

While Inside Truth has only about 9,700 followers, its misleading post could have reached more than 4.2 million people, and has been shared over 73,000 times. The page was created on July 30, 2015.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)